Development authority receives $50k planning grant for Enterprise Corner property
The Appalachian Regional Commission announced a $50,000 planning grant for the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority as part of its Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative.
Overall the ARC awarded nearly $47 million to 52 projects in 181 counties. The POWER initiative directs federal resources to economic diversification projects in Appalachian communities.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin, who visited Rome in March, made the award announcement in advance of ARC’s 2022 Annual Conference.
“Our coal-impacted communities are a vital part of Appalachia’s 13 states and 423 counties — when our coal communities thrive, our entire region is uplifted,” Manchin said in a statement. “This latest round of POWER grant funding will not only help struggling coal communities to once again compete in a global marketplace, but also expand support for the creation of new jobs through growing Appalachia’s food economy.”
The planning grant will go toward engineering costs to bring water and sewage connections from Rome to the property at 231 Bass Ferry Road.
While it’s a drop in the bucket to the eventual costs for that project, RFCDA President Missy Kendrick said the acquisition of a planning grant is the first step to receiving an eventual implementation grant.
City Manager Sammy Rich earlier said the city has water lines out to Hillindale Drive and estimated the cost of extending water out to the Braden Farm property would be between $2 million and $2.5 million. In 2021, Rome Water and Sewer Division Director Mike Hackett estimated the cost of sewer lines could be as much as $3.75 million.
The development authority is currently seeking to rezone the property as Heavy Industrial from Agricultural Residential and is expected to go before the Floyd County Commission for a vote on Oct. 25.
The authority intends for the 200-acre property to be an industrial center, hoping to attract manufacturers and others in the Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor, formerly called the 411 Connector.
The Rome-Floyd Planning Commission earlier voted unanimously to approve the rezoning request. The property, part of the former Braden Farm, sits on both sides of Bass Ferry Road North of U.S. 411.
Floyd County also recently signed off on a $500,000 contract for drilling and development of a new well on Biddy Road to provide the site with water.
The 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages contained funding for the purchase of property for economic development.