January 27, 2021–8:26 p.m.
Members of the Rome Redevelopment Committee continued discussions regarding annexations on Wednesday.
One of the areas being discussed is the Celanese/Riverside community.
Property owner Ron Swinford addressed the committee and said to many residents it seems like a “tax grab.”
“I’ve run the numbers on my houses,” he said. “I have eight rental houses and my house. You’re going to put me out of business with the additional money that you’re going to take from me every year.”
Redevelopment Committee Chair Wendy Davis said that there was a conversation in December about a spread sheet that shows comparisons between the city and county for each individual house.
“I think everyone was a little bit surprised,” she said. “Because it went against the sort of conventional wisdom, but on almost every property we looked at in our examples ended up being annually cheaper to move into the city, and also get more of those vibrant, if you will, services.”
Davis said that this is just an ongoing “community conversation” and nothing has been decided.
City Commissioner Randy Quick stated that he thinks people would be somewhat surprised that there may be some old “myths and legends” that really aren’t true about what’s happening.
“I don’t want the city to look like the bad guy swooping in and taking someone’s property and saying ‘You will be in the city because we know best,’” he said. “We don’t need to dictate what an individual property owner thinks. So, I think the best thing to do is to go through the educational process to show the benefits and show the services. Show exactly what the real cost will be in some of this research so people can make an educated decision.”
The city plans on holding community meetings on the issue in the future.