February 16, 2021–10:15 p.m.
The Rome Redevelopment Committee met with residents of the Celanese/Riverside area Tuesday night to discuss what has become a contentious issue….Annexation.
The neighborhood is in the county and is considered an island, meaning most of the surrounding properties are in the city.
Riverside property owners who spoke during the meeting, like Ron Swinford, oppose annexation.
“Look at the number of people here in the middle of a pandemic and on the coldest day of the year,” he said. “The other thing is, you’re also asking and having these kinds of conversations with folks out on Chulio Road, Horseleg Creek and eventually it will be Garden Lakes as well. We’re not interested. Thank you very much.”
City Commissioner Randy Quick said that he has driven through the neighborhood and has seen the “No Annexation” signs.
“We will not force you to do anything that you do not want to do,” he said. “You have my personal commitment on that.”
Mayor Craig McDaniel expressed the same sentiments.
“I don’t think at any point in time we have seriously considered doing a hostile takeover of any segment of the county,” he said.
Floyd County School Superintendent Dr. Glenn White said there are an estimated 90 to 100 students from the Riverside community who attend a school in the Model District and annexation would negatively impact the school system’s bottom line.
“Property tax-wise, it would take about $300,000 away from the Floyd County School System,” White said. “In addition to that, it would also take funding from the state which is through the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act in the amount of $800,000 to $900,000.”
What about the cost to the individual homeowner?
Commissioner Wendy Davis, who chairs the Redevelopment Committee, urged homeowners to talk with city staff.
“From our conversations with Mr. Swinford, we have been perfecting that model, if you will,” she said. “We are happy to run the numbers for your property so you can see what the actual numbers are and what the actual impact is.”