A resources survey of Rome’s downtown historic district is being held up by red tape.
At stake is a $12,000 grant to conduct the survey of the 553-parcel historic district. The money, theoretically, is supposed to be spent by the end of July 2021.
At issue is Georgia’s decision to move its State Historic Preservation Office from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Community Affairs.
Brittany Griffin with the Rome-Floyd Planning Department said the U.S. Department of the Interior has refused to release the grant funds because it wants the preservation office under the DNR, as is the case in every other state.
If necessary, Griffin said she would apply for another round of funding once the issue is resolved.
The discussion came during Wednesday’s meeting of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.
In other actions, the HPC approved plans to change the facade at 510 Broad St., home to PAM Studios and Jamwich.
William Barker, new owner of the building, said the fire marshal is requiring that a front entrance and exit for the second floor be installed to meet Fire Safety Code. There is a partial stairwell on the left side of the building, so an opening for a door will be cut there.
The building also will get new second floor windows and be repainted, though the color will remain white.
PAM Studios, which occupies the second floor, is a full film production facility.
“We’re attempting to make it look as if it was something done 40 or 50 years ago, when the storefront was first put in,” Barker said. The building was at one time home to one of Rome’s original fire companies.
The HPC also approved a new 63-page historic guidelines book. That’s a greatly condensed and simplified revision of the previous version totaling 250 pages.