Since the last time the special purpose, local option sales tax committee met in 2019, both Rome and Floyd County projects have seen significant advancement despite the pandemic.
After several delays, the 2013 SPLOST-funded airport runway extension project is finally underway, beginning with the first phase of the grading project in February.
The 2013 SPLOST set aside a little over $5.7 million and about $1.2 million has already been used. They plan to award the second and third phase, which will handle paving and electrical aspects respectively, later this year.
“Phase I is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021,” County Manager Jamie McCord said. “So far so good on chopping that project up. We were severely over budget the first time around and got that in order this past fall.”
The project itself is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The 911 Center was included in the 2017 SPLOST for $257,000 in improvements. However, it has been delayed, mostly due to COVID-19, as requested by department Director John Blalock. After discussing with the county manager, both agreed it would be best for the safety of the workers to delay the project.
“We probably won’t do it until 2022,” McCord said.
The Silver Creek Trail extension is budgeted for $200,000 for the year, and the county is in discussion with Norfolk Southern for property acquisition and trail alignment. Almost $600,000 has been put aside for the total project, which is expected to be complete late 2021 or early 2022.
The enclosure of the State Mutual Stadium terrace is also expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2021 before baseball season starts, with Brooks Building Group under contract for $1,473,086.
One of the biggest projects in the 2017 SPLOST is the Agricultural Center, which McCord said they are also evaluating potential sites for the project. About $8 million is earmarked for the project and it is expected to be complete sometime in 2022 or 2023.
During the meeting, McCord said he is in discussion with Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Director Todd Wofford on potential locations for the blue ways SPLOST project. Blue ways, or waterways, are scenic routes based on the rivers. Right now, it’s tentatively scheduled for completion by 2022.
The waterways project is in partnership with the city, who plans to renovate the ECO Center and build a new boat house as well, using SPLOST money.
On the city side of SPLOST projects, City Manager Sammy Rich said they are planning on getting the East Central Secondary Access Road project ready “as soon as we can.”
“I know that anyone that drives down Dean (Avenue) or takes their kids to or from East Central (Elementary) will appreciate this,” he said.
The $395,000 SPLOST project will be out for bid as soon as the design is finished by in-house engineering.
The $2 million streetscape plan for the River District is also underway after Goodwyn Mills Cawood has been engaged to do the conceptual planning for the project.
Rich described it as one of the most exciting SPLOST projects and said the community had a very positive response to the initial concepts back in September.
“It’s ambitious, we’re probably going to end up breaking it into phases so we can eat that elephant one bite at a time,” the city manager said.
A request for proposal for engineering design services will be coming in the spring, according to Rich.