The Rome-Floyd Litter and Blight Task Force is looking at ways to assess the blight problem in Floyd County using a blight index software program through University of Georgia.

The index would be similar to the litter index Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful conducts every year, but this would be just for blighted and rundown properties in the county. The software would be around $90 for three months, according to the task force’s chair David Mathis.

While the index won’t necessarily solve the problem, it’ll help the task force narrow down what areas are in most need of fixing up.

County Commissioner Allison Watters pointed out that they could get volunteers from one of the local colleges to do the index, which will involve traveling around Floyd County, taking pictures of dilapidated properties and surveying residents.

By using college students, Watters thinks they’ll be able to get a more objective take on the blight problems in the county.

“Then, you’ve got to figure out, once you get that information, what do you do with it?” she said. “It’s one thing to know it, it’s another thing to resolve it.”

Task force members talked about the ways they can use the information from the index, including first looking at areas that aren’t completely dilapidated and tackling those first.

Mathis said the software they would use to conduct the index also comes with an app volunteers can download on their phones to help them properly assess the areas.

“The app gives you the criteria included in part of your housing assessment, such as the development and organizational phases of it,” he said. “It also has a paper guide with checkmarks of what you do when looking at a blighted property.”

Some examples of the checks include whether the property is for sale or not, does it have dry rot, foundation, paint and the state of the yard. The checkmark part can also be done on the phone, where the data will be automatically entered into the index.

The index would take one area of the county at a time to keep it organized.

Task force members are currently planning to start next fall, when they hope the virus will have died down.

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