Rome City commissioners met in a special meeting Wednesday evening to debate whether to ask voters Nov. 2 to approve a $25 million bond to repave 235 miles through the city. It was as heated a commission meeting as we’ve seen in some time (courtesy of Zoom).
At issue was whether to hurriedly place the proposal for Rome registered voters on Nov. 2 that basically would seek approval for a $25 million bond to repace all 235 miles of city-maintained roads (excluding Shorter and Turner McCall which are state responsibilities). For about an hour, commissioner after commissioner lined up to justify a bond or no bond stance. At times, city commissioners Mark Cochran, Bill Collins and Wendy Davis were in professor mode, walking colleagues through different considerations.
At issue were waiting for expected federal COVID relief dollars to fund such work. Other arguments were in favor of tapping into the city’s reserve funds to finance the project. Still others didn’t want to tie the city into $2.5 million or more of debt service each year to repay the bonds.
The final vote was 6-3 to not put the issue on the ballot with Cochran, Collins and Davis being the ones favoring a decision from voters.
The other option is a plan for 2022 that blends extra-penny sales tax revenue already allocated with other methods to fund 34 miles of repaving.