News Line for Rome

Rome City Commission to set tax rate tonight at meeting
The city of Rome’s past and future finances will be highlighted at the regular meeting of the board of commissioners tonight.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Curb cut to affect on-street parking on Fourth Avenue
Rome officials approved a curb cut on Fourth Avenue that will eliminate three parking places on the side of a building owned by telecommunications entrepreneur Dave Parker at 400 Broad St.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Entire region shares in Bartow’s growth; local leaders say reinvestment, regional cooperation critical to success
Bartow County is enjoying a tremendous boom right now with LakePoint Sporting Community and Town Center, voestalpine, Surya Rug, Beaulieu International Group and the Toyo Tire expansion promising more than 2,400 jobs within the next three years.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

SPLOST funds; further projects questioned after North Rome work finished
Improvements that will help prevent sewage spills and excess runoff in some North Rome neighborhoods are expected to be done by the end of 2015, according to city Water and Sewer Division Director Leigh Ross.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Recreation task force still waiting for surveys; discussing future setup
A task force created to hammer out a new recreation authority agreement is expected to receive recommendations in two weeks on which communities it should visit. The task force reached no decision Friday on a new operating agreement for the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New carpet is next step in DeSoto Theatre restoration; catering kitchen, concessions also slated for improvements
While considerable work has been done to restore Rome’s historic DeSoto Theatre, the project is far from complete.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome live-streaming City Commission meetings, officially starting July 28
A small disruption at last week’s Rome City Commission meeting marked the introduction of a way people can instantly keep up with the local government.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

ACC to decide on 4 alcohol pouring licenses, including Ichiban and O'Charley's
A mix of new and existing establishments in Rome are asking to be able to serve alcohol to their customers.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Developer hopes to win water park auction, move slides to Rome
Rome native Robert W. Loftin, now a major hotel developer based in Washington, D.C., wants to give his hometown a boost. Loftin said he wants to purchase a water park in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and move it to Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Historic Preservation Commission to rule on Broad St. proposals, discuss historic home guidelines
Rome’s Historic Preservation Commission faces a lengthy agenda this afternoon with seven cases on the docket.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

CrossFit push leads to change in ULDC zoning; revision awaits Rome, Floyd OK
The popularity of more intense and specialized workout programs has led the Rome-Floyd Planning Department to develop a new category in the Unified Land Development Code.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome city commissioners recognize Sammy Rich's first full meeting as city manager
From the start of caucus to the final gavel to adjourn, Sammy Rich got the complete experience of being city manager at a Rome City Commission meeting Monday.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

State loan programs fuel downtown revival, private investment
Downtown Rome has aggressively gone after low-interest loans available through several state community redevelopment programs.
Source: Rome News Tribune

City Commission to start millage rate process at tonight’s meeting
Those who own property inside Rome’s city limits will not see much change in their taxes this year, if the recommended millage rate is approved.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City asked to extend bus service in North Rome
Rome city staff is going to look at the possibility of providing city bus service to Ashland Park Apartments in North Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome finalizes agreements with state for Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property
For his first official meeting as Rome’s new city manager, Sammy Rich got to deliver good news to the City Commission.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission to vote on tennis center property rezoning
As plans continue to move forward to build The Tennis Center of Georgia in Rome, one of the people who has been involved since the project’s beginning is heading into retirement.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

John Bennett calls it a career after three decades as Rome’s city manager
The day after returning from the annual Georgia Municipal Association convention, John Bennett was attending committee meetings, making phone calls and following up on projects.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City staff recommends millage rate remain steady
Rome officials intend to keep their tax rate unchanged when it is finalized next month.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Broad Street sidewalks replaced, project nears completion
Sidewalks were replaced this week on Broad Street.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Connectivity a big issue at meeting about master trail plan
Maximizing the connections between trails and where people live and work in Rome will be a focus of the update of Rome’s master trails plan, a consultant said Tuesday.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Ringgold installs safety handrails on two streets downtown
Two streets in downtown Ringgold got a little safer in recent days after the city installed new safety handrails to Cleburne Street behind the Nashville Street businesses and along Shady Place.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

South Rome group discusses efforts to build more single-family homes, plans audit
The South Rome Redevelopment Corp. is expected to seek bids for an independent audit going back to the beginning of 2001.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City officials, community leaders to host block party aimed at building bonds, fellowship
Local groups and residents are putting forth a combined effort to bring an evening of fun, food, and fellowship to a Rome neighborhood.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Savings to city for free clinic ‘intangible’
Potential savings from the Rome employee health clinic are difficult to pinpoint.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Bike/walk planning sessions set for Tuesday
Residents will be asked for input at a community meeting Tuesday on an update of the Rome-Floyd County Trails Master Plan.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

DDA okays loan applications for new hotel
Rome’s Downtown Development Authority agreed to seek a pair of loans for Shriji Hospitality Rome LLC, to help finance the company’s proposed Hampton Inn and Suites, 844 Turner McCall Blvd.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Ringgold council approves purchase of mobile entertainment stage
The city of Ringgold added to its fleet of event equipment on Monday night, June 9 after the mayor and council unanimously approved the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) purchase of a new mobile entertainment stage.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome city officials offer thanks for ‘thankless job,’ will treat employees to food and drinks this morning
Mary Hardin Thornton knows it can be a grueling workday for the men and women who work for the Rome Solid Waste Department.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Trio of Rome police officers receive state recognition
A group of Rome police patrol officers have been named winners in the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Governor’s Challenge.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New bike stattion installed along downtown trail
Visitors to the extensive trails in downtown Rome now have free help in case of a bicycle emergency.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City hires Collins Project Management for tennis center project
Rome Mayor Jamie Doss typically doesn’t vote unless he must break a tie. He made an exception Thursday when selecting Collins Project Management as project manager for the proposed Tennis Center of Georgia.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority looks to partner with Rome police to block gang activity
Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Security Director Melvin Scott said he is working with Rome police after identifying some potential gang activity in Rome in recent months.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Mayor: Rome wants to reuse whole Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital tract
Rome officials have long dreamed of the possibility of redeveloping the 132 acres where the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital sits.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission to decide Hampton Preserve annexation
The Rome City Commission is set to vote Tuesday night on annexing several parcels of a Floyd County subdivision into the city.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome budget waiting for 2014 tax digest to determine property tax revenue
The report Wednesday from the City of Rome’s finance department gave officials some good news while they wait for the complete Floyd County tax digest to help predict future revenue.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Official: Ga. 101 plans ‘vital’ for growth, safety
The scale of a state project to improve Rockmart Highway south of Rome has been dialed back, but local officials hope it is not the final pass at the major corridor.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Hampton Preserve subdivision could become part of city
Rome Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich said he doesn’t anticipate any issues with annexing more than 40 lots of a Chulio Road subdivision into the city limits.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Council OKs Church Street bridge 7-0
Over objections from residents, the City Council on Wednesday granted an easement allowing WellStar Kennestone Hospital to erect a pedestrian bridge over Church Street.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Rome shifts entitlement money in 2011 and 2014 budgets
The hiring of a new code enforcement officer for the City of Rome is closer to reality.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City plans May 30 opening of Town Green; officials get tennis center progress report
City officials have tentatively set May 30 for the ribbon cutting and rededication of the downtown Town Green and fountain.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

South Rome Redevelopment Corp. seeks support for tax credits
Rome City Commissioners are scheduled to decide at their meeting tonight if they will back a proposal to build new affordable housing in South Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Steaks, seafood on The Gibson plate, city OKs outside deck lease
The developers of a restaurant on the Cotton Block approached the City Commission about a lease agreement that will give them use of a portion of Bridgepoint Plaza.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau encourages 'hometown tourism'
A vacation doesn’t have to involve long drives and the hassle of an air flight. Rome and Floyd County will promote a “staycation” during National Travel and Tourism Week beginning Saturday.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City, Cotton Block businesses discuss parking
City leaders and Cotton Block business owners on Thursday discussed parking on West First Street and an adjoining alley, but reached no decision on how many and what kind of parking spaces should be added.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commissioner Collins seeks answers on Housing Choice Vouchers
Rome City Commissioner Bill Collins is getting some answers and learning more about a South Rome development after he voiced some apprehension about it.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Historic Preservation Commission gives green light to several downtown projects
The 200-block of Broad Street will have a decidedly new look by this fall.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome City Commission approves radio agreement; document now goes to Floyd commission
The Rome City Commission gave the OK Monday night for the city to enter into the overall agreement on use and operation of the $26.7 million SPLOST-funded countywide communication system.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

John Bennett in State of City address: Rome city finances improving
With his final two months on the job approaching, John Bennett was able to report some good news about the city he has served for so long.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome to get radio agreement; document to spell out annual maintenance fees for countywide system
The Rome City Commission is scheduled to vote tonight whether to authorize Mayor Jamie Doss to sign the long-in-development agreement on the maintenance and operation of the countywide digital communications system.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Downtown Development Authority OKs Harvest Moon, Cevian Design plans
Cevian Design Lab owners Mark Cochran and Jessica Bittles are seeking a $250,000 loan to assist with the renovation of the former Lee’s Furniture building at 206-208 Broad St. The total cost for their project is estimated at $655,000.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Only two blocks of sidewalks are left to complete Streetscape project
The sight of concrete trucks and backhoes along Broad Street will soon be a memory for downtown visitors and businesses. Rome Street Department Director Chris Jenkins said the Streetscape project that has been ongoing for nearly the last two years is nearing the end.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City, county bicker over relocation of fire station
Rome and Floyd County leaders sparred Tuesday for more than an hour about the relocation of a fire station — a decade-old discussion — that led county commissioners to say they’ll re-evaluate the situation.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome-Floyd Planning Commission backs multi-family projects
Plans are in motion for three new Rome housing developments. The Rome-Floyd Planning Commission recommended Thursday that the rezoning requests for each of the multi-million dollar projects be approved by the City Commission.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Saturday event will introduce Rome’s new boardwalk
Now that the weather is beginning to show signs of spring, Romans who need to re-ignite a New Year resolution to get more exercise will have an opportunity to Spring into Trails Saturday morning.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Stressed trees on Broad Street get deep-root therapy
After cutting down 15 trees in the median on Broad Street, Rome officials are taking additional steps to ensure the health of those remaining — and of trees at several other locations in the city.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New lease agreement on table for Rome city cell tower
An opportunity has presented itself for the city of Rome to extend the lease on a cell phone tower it owns at the Walker Mountain Landfill. The question is which of the two offers should the city pursue.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Japanese delegation arrives Monday ahead of annual International Festival
Leading up to the festival, Rome will once again host a group of visitors from Rome’s sister city in Kumamoto, Japan. This marks the 10th delegation of Japanese students to visit Rome since the relationship was first established in 1995.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Downtown Rome: 'Way ahead of the curve'
Staying ahead in the game takes innovation. If the game is a city’s downtown development, it takes the combination of business owners, local government and the people of Rome working together to get ahead.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission to vote on trails update contract
The process of getting community input and determining the economic impact of Rome’s trails plan is moving forward.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Harper to seek mayor seat in Adairsville
Adena Harper, a Mary Kay consultant in Adairsville, will be a candidate for Mayor of the north Bartow community.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome’s hope for Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds unaffected by federal deadline
One deadline has passed, but there still could be Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds for a major project in South Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Ringgold hears concerns about new pawnbroker fees, discusses downtown WiFi
It’s been about two months since the city of Ringgold approved an ordinance implementing pawnbroker fees to assist its police department with tracking possible stolen goods, prompting the owner of one such business to express his concern over the new fees during the most recent council meeting on Monday, March 10.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Trees coming down on Broad key to restore look of downtown median
Crews from the city of Rome started cutting down and removing 15 of the 30 willow oak trees on the Broad Street median Monday.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City pays $390,000 to buy liquor store across from new Anna K. Davie school
Blue Box Beverage will close its 33 East Main St. doors by July 31 — a state requirement before it would allow the opening of the new Anna K. Davie Elementary School across the street, Rome officials said.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City leaders keeping close eye on bills with local ties in General Assembly
City of Rome officials are getting updates from the Georgia Municipal Association on bills — ranging from allowing guns in government buildings to changing the SPLOST law — that could be voted on before midnight Thursday, the final day of the session.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Downtown Development Authority: Job loss was low-level
While Downtown Rome has shown a net loss of 24 jobs after the first two months of the year, Downtown Development Authority Director Ann Arnold said better things are coming.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

ity of Rome crews to remove 15 Broad Street trees for health of remaining 15
Crews will begin removing trees Monday from the Broad Street median — a process that periodically will close traffic lanes through next week.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission approves housing repair aid policy
Eligibility for a state-funded moderate repair program for homeowners can be checked through the City of Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Riverside boardwalk trail section officially open for traffic
An important and unique part of the trail system between Heritage Park to State Mutual Stadium is finally open as fencing around the Rome boardwalk project has been removed.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome officials expect to finalize this year gift of GE tract from closed plant
Rome City Manager John Bennett has said the acquisition of 123 acres of the closed General Electric medium transformer plant in West Rome is something he’d like to complete before he retires June 30.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Graffiti getting old for city officials; they're looking for ways to deal with it
Mary Hardin Thornton has a suggestion to thwart graffiti artists — a faux ivy product that can be attached to bridge abutments and other concrete structures.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Planning Commission denies rezoning for mini mart gas station
A local businessman’s request to rezone a piece of property on Ga. 101 in order to build a gas station was met with opposition from both the planning department and area residents.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Wrecker plans back before board; Planning Commission postpones action on rezoning issue
More information and better plans from a business on Martha Berry Highway are expected to be presented at this month’s meeting of the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Wrecker plans back before board; Planning Commission postpones action on rezoning issue
More information and better plans from a business on Martha Berry Highway are expected to be presented at this month’s meeting of the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New affordable housing plans for South Rome pending application approval
New affordable housing could be coming to different sections of South Rome if an application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs is accepted.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Housing authority to redo 97 units in Willingham Village public housing
The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority agreed Wednesday to partner with Vantage Development LLC on a major overhaul of 97 units of the Willingham Village public housing community.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome retreat discusses staff transition with Sammy Rich to assume city manager mantle
The changes coming to Rome’s administration were discussed Wednesday as John Bennett enters his final months as city manager.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome city officials optimistic about boardwalk opening in few weeks
The boardwalk underneath the Fifth Avenue bridge is just weeks away from opening to the public, Rome officials said.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome City Commission retreat at Winshape covers Tennis Center plans
Final plans for The Tennis Center of Georgia at Berry College are beginning to take shape as the city hopes to start work on its current slate of SPLOST projects this year
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission begins two-day planning retreat at Winshape
Possible changes to the way Rome City Commission meetings are presented and future improvements to the water and sewer systems are on the agenda for the group’s annual planning retreat.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Size, geography hamper city, county consolidation, leaders say
The cooperation between the Rome and Floyd County combined with terrain of the county make consolidating the two governments a low-priority issue, leaders from both entities said.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Commission to vote on appointment of new city manager
Two weeks after announcing the lone person under consideration to replace long-time Rome City Manager John Bennett, the City Commission is set to vote on the appointment.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Loan activity brisk on Broad Street buildings
If Rome Downtown Development Authority Director Ann Arnold were to decide to retire any time soon, she might want to consider a second career as a commercial lender.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Trees planted at Burwell Creek trailhead for Arbor Day
Rome marked Arbor Day on Tuesday by planting four trees at the Burwell Creek trailhead
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Urban Riverfront progress
Work continues on the Urban Riverfront project in downtown Rome, which includes an overlook, a floating plaza and boat dock, and a trail extension under Fifth Avenue that will allow walkers to go from the Town Green to State Mutual Stadium without ever crossing a street.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New sidewalk approved for West Third Street
Rome City Commission has approved a contract for $15,150 for KPS Group to engineer and design a sidewalk connecting the trail at the top of the West Third Street levee with the street.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City looking at property for park, trail
Details of two property matters being ironed out by officials with the City of Rome could affect the future use and development of a pair of neighborhood parks.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Bill would raise local no-bid caps, allow 70 mph speed limits on interstates in urban areas
Georgia’s counties and cities could have a higher ceiling when it comes to requiring bids for work on public roads if a new bill makes it through the General Assembly.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Campaign finance report process hits snag; bill in General Assembly fast-tracked to fix glitch
The time of locally-elected officials submitting their campaign contributions online is in the past, but an oversight in the law is forcing them to continue filing their reports this month even if they had no activity.
Source: Rome News-Tribune