Rome City Commissioners unanimously agreed Monday to allocate up to $1 million to help offset the cost of infrastructure associated with new housing construction.
The money will come from the city’s federal American Rescue Plan funds.
The incentive package was developed by the Special Committee on Housing, chaired by Commissioner Wendy Davis. It’s available for new homes that sell for up to $250,000 or rent for no more than $1,200 a month.
Water and sewer tap fees will be waived as long as the $1 million earmark lasts. It also includes reimbursements for infrastructure costs, ranging from $2,500 for a single family home on an urban infill lot up to $6,000 per unit for a subdivision with at least 25 homes.
“There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done in some other communities,” said Mayor Craig McDaniel.
City Manager Sammy Rich said the feds are expected to release the final set of rules governing use of ARP funds “any day now.” Should the incentives not be an approved use, the issue will have to go back before the commission.
The city has already received more than $5 million of the anticipated $11.5 million in ARP funds.
Also on Monday, the first reading of a temporary ordinance to permit open container public consumption of alcoholic beverages downtown was approved without objection.
A public hearing on the 90-day trial period is set for July 26 at 6:30 p.m. If approved, it would run from Aug. 5 through Oct. 30.
Commissioners also conducted the first of three public hearings to consider the 2021 city property tax levy. There were no comments. The next hearing is at 10 a.m. Thursday, in commission chambers at City Hall, 601 Broad St.
The board also appointed members of a special Landmarking Committee: Selena Tilly, Ann Pullen, Sam Malone and David Mitchell. The committee is most immediately charged with recommending a place to put the Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest statue that was removed from Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
The committee also will develop a protocol for identifying historic local places and people that deserve recognition in the form of plaques, statues or other landmarking.