Fairfield Inn & Suites

An artist’s rendering shows the Fairfield Inn & Suites that Berry College hopes to construct adjacent to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. The school is seeking $1.72 million in TAD financial assistance from the city and county to make the project work.

The Rome City Commission approved a Tax Allocation District financial plan with Lavender Mountain Hospitality Services LLC Monday night. The plan facilitates development of a Fairfield Inn & Suites on property next to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.

Lavender Mountain Hospitality Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berry College, is asking for $1,782,840 over a 10-year period of time to help offset the development costs for the hotel.

Berry donated the land on which the tennis center was constructed and college officials believe the new hotel will help the facility draw larger tournaments to the community.

Berry attorney Danny Price said the college needs to start getting to work on the hotel to be able to open by the target date of Oct. 1 of next year.

Price said the college hopes the new hotel can drive additional development on the north side of the city.

“We’re here to lead the way,” Price said.

The TAD plan now goes to the Floyd County Commission for action Sept. 22.

City Commissioners also approved a contract with Atlantic Coast Consulting to move forward with closing the Construction & Demolition landfill at Walker Mountain Landfill on Blacks Bluff Road at a cost not to exceed $29,000.

Maxis Engineering was also retained by the city to conduct additional contaminant analysis at the former Fox Manufacturing/Rome Floyd Recycling Center on East Callahan Street. The price tag for that project is not to exceed $24,000.

Commissioners also appointed attorney Chris Jackson to replace Bryan Johnson as Municipal Court judge. John Scott Husser Jr. was approved as Jackson’s assistant judge.

Johnson was elected earlier this year to replace Bryant Durham on the Floyd Superior Court bench, effective Jan. 1. Durham is retiring.

The commission approved a proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of Georgia Highlands College, originally Floyd College. GHC President Don Green, on hand to accept the proclamation, said the number of graduates this past school year was up 14% from the previous year.

Rome High football coach John Reid was also recognized for being named one of the top high school football coaches in the state.

“It’s an honor to represent this city,” Reid told the commission. “This is the best place we’ve ever lived.”

State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, was also recognized for his work on legislation that expands internet sales tax collection.

Hufstetler said that, as a former county commissioner, he understands the importance of creating a level playing field for communities. He said he didn’t know that when the collections began, on April 1, the state would be in the throes of a pandemic with internet commerce growing at a faster rate than before.

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