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By a split vote, city commission approves supplemental bond resolution for new middle school

Monday, November 13, 2023–7:55 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome City Commission has approved a supplemental bond resolution and a bond purchase agreement for up to $120 million for the new Rome Middle School project.

In September, the commission approved a bond resolution and related documents.

The supplemental resolution lays out the financial terms.

As it was in September, the vote to approve was 5-4 with Commissioners Bonny Askew, Elaine Beeman, Bill Collins, and Mark Cochran voting in favor. Commissioners Jim Bojo, Jamie Doss, Craig McDaniel, and Randy Quick voted against it. Mayor Sundai Stevenson broke the 4-4 tie by voting in favor.

A motion made by Commissioner McDaniel to table the approval until the commission’s second meeting in February failed by the same vote.

Wayne Robinson, who will be joining the commission in January following last Tuesday’s election, spoke prior to the votes.

“I think Tuesday speaks volumes of where the votes hit,” he said. “They hit with the people who have concerns with this. I think they don’t want to just have an open checkbook for this. I think they spoke very loud and clear that they are against this.”

54 million was included for a new middle school in the special purpose local option sales tax for education approved by voters last year. The school system also has about $16 million in state money for the project.

It is estimated that additional ELOSTs will be necessary to pay back the bonds.

The latest estimate for the project is $108 million.

City Commission passes PFAS settlement resolution

The Rome City Commission has approved another resolution related to the nationwide class action settlement regarding PFAS.

Rome City Attorney Andy Davis explained.

“3M and DuPont entered into settlements in the Charleston, South Carolina case, and the City of Rome was exempted from that case,” he said. “However, the City of Rome received notice and just as a precautionary matter, and to be on the safe side, I request that the commission approve a resolution that the City of Rome opt out of that class action, so we cannot be included.”

The City of Rome has already reached settlements with 32 defendants, including 3M and DuPont, regarding the so-called forever chemicals in the Oostanaula River.

At last report, 154 million in settlement money had been received.

Rome is using the settlement money to construct a new ‘reverse osmosis’ treatment facility that will remove all PFAS from the local water supply.