Rome-Floyd County to seek $5.1 million from Congress for demolition, mitigation of NWGA Regional Hospital property
Rome and Floyd County are seeking a $5.1 million congressional appropriation to take care of asbestos mitigation and demolition costs at the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property.
Mayor Sundai Stevenson, alongside Rome-Floyd Development Authority and Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce heads, met with both of Georgia’s senators in mid-March during a trip to Washington D.C.
During that meeting, the topic of developing the former hospital property off Division Street was discussed. Since then, aides with Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock toured the property in late March.
“I’ve been in contact with them several times, so I know they’re interested in this program,” RFCDA President Missy Kendrick told the authority board Tuesday.
The authority purchased the 130-plus acres from the state, using $2.25 million in funds approved by voters in the 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages. The hospital has been closed for over a decade.
If any funds come from Congress they would not be available until the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” RFCDA Board Chair Jimmy Byars said. “It’s going to take a while as the demolition process and grants to pay for that go through.”
Until then, they’re working on property upkeep and cataloging items left by the state for sale. They’ve retained J.R. Davis for property upkeep and the board approved up to $18,000 in funds to be spent on equipment for lawn care and other items.
Thus far, the authority has applied for environmental mitigation grants as well as discussed seeking grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission. ARC co-chair Gayle Manchin and Executive Director Brandon McBride toured the facility along with city commissioners in early March.
♦ Another funding issue the development authority is working to address is getting water and sewer service to the former farm property along Cartersville Highway they’ve dubbed Enterprise Corner.
The 202 acres of farmland is intersected by Bass Ferry Road near the border with Bartow County.
The estimated cost to run water and sewer infrastructure approximately 5 miles to that site would be around $7 million, City Manager Sammy Rich said Tuesday.
“It doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to do it in one fell swoop,” Kendrick said. She cited the rising costs of construction materials and labor, noting that the estimate for running utilities to Enterprise Corner was approximately $3.5 million, half the cost, a few years ago.
However, Kendrick said, they’re also looking toward ARC grants to mitigate at least some of the infrastructure costs, like running power.