City commission makes appointment to housing authority, holds tax rate public hearing, and approves boat ramp agreement

Tuesday, July 9, 2024–10:30 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome City Commission voted Monday to approve a recommendation from the committee on committees to appoint Jamie Palmer to the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Board.

Palmer will replace Hilda Curtis, who is retiring.

The Housing Authority Board consists of eight members.

The Rome City Commission appoints five.

In April, Billy Cooper was appointed to replace Jim Keaten.

A previous recommendation to appoint a replacement for Curtis, who is the only Black member of the authority appointed by the commission, was withdrawn in April after concerns were raised by the other board members and the local NAACP.

Commission proposing millage rate reduction

The Rome City Commission also held the first public hearing regarding the millage rate Monday night.

“The finance committee has made the recommendation this year that we have a reduction of the city M&O [maintenance and operations] from 7.8 down to 7.75,” said Rome City Manager Sammy Rich.

For city capital, the rate is proposed at 1.75 from 1.8.

The rate for Rome City Schools would go from 16.85 to 16.75.

“While that does not represent a substantial decrease, the finance committee did feel that philosophically it was a decrease to the extent of the portion that is controlled by the city commission, and would probably be welcomed,” Rich added. “On a $150,000 home with no change in assessment or no exemptions, that is roughly a $12 savings. While it is small, it is savings nonetheless.”

The second public hearing will be held during a called meeting on Thursday, July 18 at 10 a.m. in the city commission chambers.

Commission approves boat ramp agreement

Also on Monday, the commission voted to approve an extension of a lease agreement with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for the Etowah River Loop 1 Boat Ramp

“We’re talking about what we locally call Dixon Landing,” Rich said. “It is the public boat ramp out at the Etowah at the YMCA soccer fields. It’s at the end of George Griffin Drive which runs off of Turner Chapel. This original agreement goes back to 1999 and it’s a 25-year agreement, so we have reached the period where this needs to be renewed. It’s a great amenity for the community, and with the increase in paddlers and anglers in our community, it sees a lot of action out there.”

Rich added there are no real changes from the 1999 agreement.

Local Weather