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DDA office relocating, Rome accepted into placemaking collaborative

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023–11:21 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The office of the Rome Downtown Development Authority will soon have a new home.

Workers are continuing renovation work to the brick building behind the Rome-Floyd Chamber of Commerce which will be the new home of the Rome Downtown Development Authority office.

The brick annex building behind the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Broad Street and Riverside Parkway is in the process of being renovated, according to Rome Downtown Development Authority Director Aundi Lesley.

“The city has owned that building for quite some time and it’s just been sitting there, used as a storage facility,” she said. “So, when we received the ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funds and wanted to be able to rehab some city facilities, that was one that was discussed. Then when they were talking about ideas for that building, the DDA stepped forward.“

In addition to the DDA office, the building will also house the parking services office, and there will be a conference room for the DDA.

“If anybody else wanted to use the conference room, I think that will be available to them as well,” Lesley said.

The DDA is hoping to move into its new home in the next few months once the new windows have been installed, but that will depend on supply-chain issues.

Rome to join Georgia Placemaking Collaborative

Rome is one of three communities that have been accepted into the Georgia Placemaking Collaborative.

The collaborative is a program under the Georgia Municipal Association. Its partners, including the Georgia Cities Foundation, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the Carl Vincent Institute of Government, come together to do an in-depth program and strategic plan for placemaking in communities.

“A lot of the communities have done things like murals, and a skate park,” Lesley said. “One community actually did a civic center. So they come in and do an overall inventory of what you’re doing well as a community, and where you maybe have some gaps and how you can be improving on those opportunities.”

During the process, the DDA will be soliciting community input.

“It’s all about what our community wants to be represented here,” Lesley added. “The program is new, only about five or six years old, but so far, the communities that have been through the program have nothing but wonderful things to say and have had some very successful projects come out of it.”

The community will be hearing more in the coming months, whether there will be town hall meetings and surveys or other ways of soliciting input.