September 22, 2021–7:53 p.m.
The Rome City Commission has voted down a proposal to include a bond referendum on the November ballot.
The motion made by Commissioner Mark Cochran would have let voters decide a 10-year, $25 million general obligation bond with the money being used to pave 235 miles of city streets over the next five years.
Cochran, along with Commissioners Wendy Davis and Bill Collins were the only “yes” votes.
Some on the commission expressed concerns about borrowing money and if going into debt was in the best interest of the city.
Specifically, how the debt might impact on the budget and the millage rate.
Although, the bond referendum was a “no” the commission seemed to agree that paving city roads should be a priority.
Rome City Manager Sammy Rich has a plan.
“We had a $5 million allocation from the 2017 SPLOST,” he said. “In combination of pulling a little bit money from there and pulling out of our city capital, we think we could come up with $4 million. As the math unfolds, the county comes over and they do their 12 miles for us at $1.2 million. We bid out the remainder using a $2.8 million nest egg, and that gets us 18.6 miles. We’d roll out LMIG for 3.33 miles, and so, based on this assumption for 2022, we could basically have 34 miles of freshly-paved streets.”
It was also stressed during Wednesday’s called commission meeting that the roads that are in most need of resurfacing, like Shorter Avenue, are actually state and not local roads.