GE land a no-go for mulching operation

Kirk Milam, Rome public services manager

Rome will have to find another location to process and store its mulch after plans to move it to the former GE property fell through.

"We learned this morning there are some restricted uses in the agreement," Public Services Manager Kirk Milam said Thursday.

The 2015 agreement covers the company's donation to the city of 123 acres next to its plant, at the intersection of Lavender Drive and Redmond Circle. Milam said staffers are now reviewing other potential sites.

"We're going to continue to collect yard waste, of course," he added. "We've just got to decide where we can carry it that will give us our best option."

The mulching operation on the edge of the city's public works compound must be moved before the end of the year. It is part of the 83 acres along Riverside Parkway that was sold to R.H. Ledbetter Properties last December.

Milam said the developers allowed the city to keep using the property but are now ready to start environmental work on the site.

Much of the land is in wetlands and Burwell Creek runs through the tract. Plans are to put most of it into a conservation easement and develop about 7 acres near the duck pond with retail.

The sale did not include the public works building complex on Vaughn Road, but Milam said crews have been using some of the surrounding land for storage of pipes and other large items. They're working with Ledbetter to see if they can continue using some of the property.

For now, the only deadline is to move the mulch operation by Dec. 31.

"We'll figure something out," Milam said. "The general public isn't going to notice any change in service. It's just a little bit of a hiccup on our end."