The deadline for bids on the old Rome-Floyd Recycling Center property on Watters Street passed Tuesday afternoon, with no proposals submitted.
“We were surprised and disappointed that we did not get a response,” Assistant County Manager Gary Burkhalter said. “More than one prospect had shown interest in it.”
County Purchasing Director Bill Gilliland said potential buyers had a month to submit a packet detailing their financial offer and what they planned to do with the 1.6-acre site at the corner of Watters Street and Calhoun Avenue.
Before it was used for recycling operations, the property was part of the old Fox Manufacturing facility, which used a variety of chemicals such as lead and arsenic. It’s been cleaned up but remains on the Hazardous Site Inventory maintained by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
“That was part of our disclosure in the legal ad,” Gilliland said. “Our hope was that someone would want to use the building ... It’s fine as long as there’s no land disturbance.”
City Manager Sammy Rich said he has a meeting scheduled later this week with County Manager Jamie McCord and he expects a discussion of the next step will be on the agenda.
Members of the North Rome Community Action Committee had been hopeful a new business would locate on the property to continue redevelopment of the area. The request for proposals said the sale would be partially contingent on how the intended use might improve the neighborhood.
The site has been vacant since January, when a new recycling center opened in the former Zartic plant at 412 Lavender Drive.
The 2013 special purpose, local option sales tax package contained $1,379,000 for the project.
The SPLOST funds were initially slated to remodel the Watters Street facility.
However, neighbors wanted it out of their back yards and officials determined the larger location could be modernized for long-term gains.
Expenses grew as the plant makeover continued and the joint city-county Solid Waste Commission put in $324,000 from its capital fund to complete the equipment purchases. Officials had hoped the sale of the Watters Street property would help offset that transfer to the new facility.
The Solid Waste Commission’s capital fund, which comes from landfill fees, is meant to pay for opening and closing sections of the Walker Mountain Landfill over time.
At the June meeting, department heads warned that the fund could not subsidize recycling operations indefinitely.
The next Solid Waste Commission meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 23 at City Hall, 601 Broad St.