SPLOST-funded property acquisition projects moving forward
The flat farmland off Bass Ferry Road dubbed Enterprise Corner, already ideal for industrial prospects, is just one of several SPLOST funded property acquisition projects beginning to move forward.
The 202-acre property just off U.S. 411 near the Bartow County border was rezoned Heavy Industrial in October by the Floyd County Commission.
“The property, topographically, is great,” said Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick. “It’s relatively flat farmland and as far as property is concerned it’s just a great site.”
The purchase of that property cost just under $4.2 million of special purpose, local option sales tax funds set aside in the 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages for industrial development.
What that property doesn’t have is the water and sewer infrastructure to supply an industrial site. The development authority is using a $50,000 engineering grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to determine the cost of running the utilities to the property.
The city has water and sewer lines going along U.S. 411 but they stop several miles away from the Bass Ferry Road property. The potential price of extending service out to the site will easily cost several million dollars.
The rezoning application for another SPLOST project, the Floyd County Agricultural Center, went before Rome City commissioners for first reading on Monday.
Funding for the center, $8 million, was approved by voters as part of the 2017 SPLOST package. The county approved a conditional agreement in June to purchase two parcels of land for the site.
The parcels sit on Three Mile Road inside of the Rome city limits, between the back of Mount Berry Mall and the Armuchee Connector. When combined, the site will be over 40 acres total.
The proposed zoning for Three Mile Road would go from Multi-Family Residential to Agricultural Residential while the Martha Berry property would go from Community Commercial to A-R.
Special use permits for the property also have been requested in order to host farm and agriculture-related events at the property.
Northwest Regional Industrial Park
Law enforcement agencies have been finding uses for the large brick buildings located on the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property off Division Street.
The development authority purchased the vacant 132.5-acre hospital complex from the state with $2.25 million from the SPLOST packages.
During a RFCDA meeting early Tuesday, Kendrick told board members that Rome and Floyd County police have been using the buildings on the fenced off property for training exercises.
The popularity of that property for training has led to inquiries from area law enforcement, and Kendrick received approval to charge those police forces $200 for use of the property.
That price is seeking to cover the time taken by staff members to go on the property, turn the power on and unlock the facilities for use, she said.
The authority is also fielding proposals from filmmakers, who would like to film on the property before a majority of the buildings are eventually demolished.
The property was rezoned for Heavy Industrial use earlier this year and $500,000 in federal funds was awarded to start addressing hazardous materials used in the construction of buildings on the site.
Rome and Floyd County officials are also seeking a $5.1 million congressional appropriation for asbestos mitigation and demolition. Georgia’s senators, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, toured the property in late March and are supporting the proposed appropriation.