Rome city commissioners have agreed to take a serious look at the annexation of several fringe areas where city and county properties are intermingled from one side of the street to the other.
Scores of parcels in the Celanese and Riverside community, Horseleg Estates and Honeysuckle Ridge will all be reviewed for possible addition to the city limits.
“We have not had an aggressive annexation approach, probably, ever,” said City Manager Sammy Rich.
City Clerk Joe Smith said the city has responded to requests for annexations from individual property owners for the last 30 years or so, but those requests have dwindled in recent years.
A frequent issue involves law enforcement response to emergency situations — determining whether city or county police should respond.
Garbage collection was another concern expressed during the City Commission’s retreat Thursday. A home on one side of the street might get garbage service from the city while the neighbor across the street is in the county and doesn’t get the service.
The Celanese and Riverside community could involve as many as 468 parcels, 445 of them residential. The area would encompass 196 acres and as many as 1,157 people.
“Most people already think this is in the city,” Commissioner Wendy Davis said.
Horseleg Estates would include 56 parcels spread across 84 acres. The area has 48 residential parcels and a population of 125 that could be annexed.
Honeysuckle Ridge, on the east side of town off Callier Springs Road, is comprised of approximately 23 acres and 39 parcels — 22 of them residential — and a population base of less than 60.
City Commissioner Jamie Doss said that any discussion of annexations would have to involve the Floyd County government and school system.
Doss said the city’s relationship with the county has been pretty good recently and he doesn’t want to damage that.
“We’re holding hands, we’re not hugging,” Doss said.
Davis suggested one way of dealing with a perennial issue relative to annexation, school choice, might be to grandfather residents of those areas and allow them to continue to attend county schools if they so choose.
Celanese students are in the Model school district, Honeysuckle Ridge is in the Pepperell district and Horseleg Estates is in the Coosa district.
The Garden Lakes area was also discussed, but the commission did not seek to pursue that community. The area is so large, the board said, that annexation would likely impact an entire Floyd County elementary school.
The city staff will now start the process of determining how much support there may be in each of the communities for annexation.
The issue was referred to the city’s redevelopment committee, chaired by Davis, for future consideration.