City commission votes to proceed with bonds for new middle school

Monday, Jan. 23, 2023–10:39 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Bill Camp with Raymond James offers advice regarding bond funding for the Rome Middle School project during the city commission caucus Monday

The Rome City Commission has decided to back the issuance of bonds for a new Rome Middle School that will be constructed on property across Veterans Memorial Highway from the current facility.

On Monday night, the commission voted unanimously to move forward.

Commissioner Mark Cochran made the motion to approve.

“We would like the bond issue to maximize the principal to be paid off in five years during ELOST VI,” he said. “We understand the first five years there will be a reasonable amount of excess SPLOST each year for other board of education capital needs. In years six through twenty, the debt service, principal and interest, will be level. The plan will be to seek voter approval of ELOST, as necessary, to fully fund the project.”

The amount to be financed remains at just over $103 million and it will still be one bond issuance to be paid back with education special purpose local option sales tax funds.

It is anticipated that larger payments on the front end during years 1 to 5 will save money on interest, reducing the overall cost, and also reducing the risk to the taxpayer.

While still expressing concerns about the cost, Commissioner Jamie Doss said it is an exciting project.

“The fact that we are relocating our 6th grade to the new middle school is a smart idea to help all our elementary schools,” he said. “I do have concerns about the cost to build a new road to the middle school. I think we should know exactly what everything costs.”

Doss added using the ELOST contributions is the best approach for the citizens of Rome.

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