This is the latest in a series of reports between now and the Nov. 7 election on the proposed extension of the penny tax for specific government services/needs and the penny tax for needs presented by the county and city school systems. That’s why we’re calling it ‘Your Two Cents.’
By Natalie Simms
Over the last 18 years, Rome/Floyd governments and school officials have received or have been pledged nearly $483 million in special local option sales taxes for a multitude of projects throughout Rome and Floyd County. That total includes approximately $201.7 million to local governments since 2001 and approximately $281.2 million in Rome and Floyd education special taxes since 1999.
That total could surge past the half-billion dollar mark if Rome, Cave Spring and Floyd County voters approve either of two tax extensions still being finalized by local governments. Yes votes on both extensions would push that total above $600 million.
This November, city and county voters will head to the polls to cast their votes for both another Special Local Option Sales Tax and an extension on the education local option sales tax. While project lists are still being finalized, local officials are discussing a five-year SPLOST generating approximately $61 million.
Floyd County School officials estimate some $40 million will be generated over the next five years with an extension to the education tax. An estimate was not available from city school officials although the addition to Rome High — including a separate college and career academy as well as an athletics field house with other upgrades — has been estimated at $10 million to $14 million alone. Also in discussion: A new Main Elementary and a revitalized North Heights Elementary.
Another round of public discussion on the “general purposes” tax is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday. That’s when the 2017 Floyd County SPLOST Committee will hear additional presentations at the Rome Floyd County Fire Department Headquarters at 409 E. 12th St., Rome.
Below please find a breakout of special tax votes — government and education — since 1999.
GOVERNMENTS: Here is a look back at the history of special tax packages in Rome-Floyd County since 2001 with information provided by the Floyd County Clerk, Erin Elrod:
2001: $15 million over 15 months
Project: Rome Braves baseball stadium (State Mutual Stadium)
2003: $26.4 million over 24 months
- New Floyd County Health Department
- Upgrades to Blacks Bluff Sewer Treatment Plant
- Old Dalton Road. Sewer Plant
- Cave Spring Sewer Plant
- Upgrades to Fourth Avenue Administration Building and new courthouses
- North Floyd Park
- Midway Park
- Shannon Park
- Crane Street Park
- Purks Hoke Park
- Cave Spring Park
- Resurfacing project
- Right-of-Way purchases on Burnett Ferry Rd., Old Dalton Rd. and Chulio Rd.
Failed: 2005 proposal for $36.5 million over 30 months
2006: $53 million over 39 months
- Armuchee Connector
- North Floyd Park
- Shannon Park
- Wolfe Park improvements
- Practice fields renovations
- Tennis courts
- North Rome Swim Center renovations
- Town Green
- Historic Courthouse Parking Deck
- Work Release Center
- Cave Spring Senior/Community Center
- Marine Armory renovation for Rome Floyd Parks and Rec administration offices and gymnasium
- City Hall/Carnegie Building renovations
- Wastewater treatment plant upgrade
- River Education (Rome ECO) Building
- Right-of-Way for U.S. 411, Huffaker Road.
- Heritage Park/Levee Gate
- Turner McCall at North Fifth intersection
- Rome High/Middle School access road
- Shorter Avenue at Redmond Circle intersection
- Broad sidewalk and corridor improvements
- Fire station renovations
- Fire training facilities
- Cave Spring Fire Station and equipment
2009: $42.3 million over 36 months
- Countywide Emergency Communications System
- Purchase industrial park land for economic development
- Upgrades to Barron Stadium
- Northwest Georgia Regional Development Center building
- Renovations and construction of Fire Headquarters and Emergency Operations Center
- Cave Spring Water upgrades
Failed: 2012 proposal for $32.4 million over 27 months
2013: $65 million over 60 months
Projects: (some still in progress)
- Rome Tennis Center at Berry College
- New Animal Control Facility
- Airport runway extension
- County case management software
- Rome/Floyd Recycling Center
- County Public Safety Range/Special Operations
- Energy efficiency in county buildings
- Jail improvements
- Jail Medical/Mental Health Facility expansion
- Forum Civic Center facility upgrade
- Everett Springs Water Line expansion
- Road improvements- Barron Road and Calhoun Road.
- County infrastructure
- County Public Works and Public Safety
- Industrial property
- Playground improvements at parks
- Jackson Hill/Tourism Development
- Trail Connectivity expansion
- City Hall/Auditorium modernization
- Downtown Visitor Information Center
- Fire Tankers, Trucks and facility upgrade
- City Police Training Facility upgrade
- Unity Point/South Broad Bridge
- Burnett Ferry Road improvements
- Chulio Hills bus back entrance
- Countywide sewer improvements
- City streets milling and paving
- Historic 1848 Fannin Hall renovation
EDUCATION: A history of the four education tax packages in Rome-Floyd County with information provided by Floyd County Schools and Rome City Schools.
1999: ELOST I for $53.5 million over five years (county collected: $33.7 million, city collected $19.9 million)
-County projects: New Johnson Elementary, new Model Middle, new Coosa Middle and new Armuchee Middle schools.
-City projects: New Elm Street Elementary School, added classrooms at Anna K. Davie, East Central, Main, Rome Middle, Rome High, West Central and West End. Added a gym at North Heights. Improved parking and paving at Southeast Elementary. Increased security measures at all schools.
2003: ELOST II for $79.8 million over five years (county collected: $51.8 million, city collected: $28.1 million)
-County projects: New Pepperell High School, renovations and expansions at multiple schools to include new classrooms, cafeteria expansions and roof replacement, system-wide technology upgrades and bus purchases.
-City projects: Renovations and additions to all school buildings, refurbished on all older school buildings, acquired system-wide technology improvements and equipment, purchased school buses.
2008: ELOST III for $72.9 million over five years (county collected: $48.5 million, city collected: $24.4 million)
-County projects: New Model High School, renovations and expansions at multiple schools including replacing HVAC units, roof replacements; system-wide technology including media center labs and computer labs at schools.
-City projects: New construction of Anna K. Davie Elementary, added classrooms at several schools, acquired new technology, purchased buses, purchased additional property to use for Anna K. Davie.
2013: ELOST IV for $75 million over five years (So far, county collected: $27.9 million, city collected: $15.7 million)
-County projects: New Coosa High School, upgrading security and lighting at all schools, various renovations at multiple schools and technology upgrades.
-City projects: New Main Elementary cafeteria, new Early Learning Center at Anna K. Davie, purchasing Chromebooks and Smartboards for schools, installing cameras at the front of each school for security, bus replacement, building additional classroom space.
Proposed 2017: ELOST V would be another five-year package with collections starting April 1, 2019.
-Floyd County Schools estimates its portion to be $40 million to fund key projects including modernization of Armuchee High School and a new Pepperell Middle School.
-No estimate dollar figure or completed project list was available from Rome City Schools. However, one key project is an expansion at Rome High that would include an independent college and career academy as well as an athletics field house and more sports upgrades as well as additional classroom space, costing from $10 million to $14 million. Earlier report. Also being discussed: A new Main Elementary School and an eventual “massive” renovations of North Heights to serve as a sixth grade academy for Rome students. Earlier WRGA report