Downtown development leaders will be meeting with merchants and property owners the rest of this month and into April to make sure everyone is aware of the changes to the smoking ordinance which will go into effect April 1, and changes to the parking management program which will occur sometime in April or early May.

David Prusakowski, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority’s outreach committee, said he anticipates holding block meetings in the coming weeks, while DDA Executive Director Amanda Carter said her staff is more than willing to meet with property and business owners on a one-one-one basis to make sure everyone is fully aware of what changes are coming up.

The changes to the parking management plan, which will include use of license plate reader technology for enforcement purposes, will also involve changes to the hours of enforcement once the program goes online.

Enforcement of the cumulative two-hour parking limit will be enhanced by the license plate reader technology and provided valuable data with respect to frequent violators. Parking enforcement will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Kiosks that will allow customers to pay for parking using debit cards and smart phone technology will also go into effect at the Third Avenue and Sixth Avenue parking decks.

Rome City commissioners approved changes to the smoking ordinance in February which ban smoking and vaping on all outdoor public property along Broad Street.

The ban extends along side streets for a distance of one block and includes the parking decks, Town Green in front of the Forum River Center and Bridgepoint Plaza.

Carter also said her staff is working on a new flyer that will be distributed downtown related to changes in the smoking ordinance which will include information about smoking cessation classes that will be offered through the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition in Rome.

The Cancer Coalition was one of the leading proponents of the changes to the smoking ordinance, in large part, to protect non-smokers from the impact of second-hand smoke.

The DDA approved facade grants for Brian Lieberman at his Lieberman Family Chiropractic offices at 421 Broad St. and Amanda Farrell at Farrell’s Frame and Design shop at 1166 Broad St.

Carter said both of the facade projects involve some paint work on the buildings. Lieberman is also replacing windows on his building while Farrell is getting a new awning at her shop in the Cotton Block.

DDA members also spent some time with Building Inspection Chief Howard Gibson, talking about code enforcement issues such as broken windows and work at 409 Broad St., a building owned by Nathan Roberts which has been under construction for close to 20 months. Gibson said his staff has followed up on, and is addressing, concerns brought to his attention.