Vote set for local open container district
♦ Rome commissioners will take public comments first on the proposed alcohol ordinance.
Rome City Commission chambers are expected to be packed Monday night with supporters and opponents of an open container district ordinance slated for a public hearing and vote.
Supporters of the Rome City school system are also expected to turn out for the scheduled vote on a twoyear contract covering the school system’s management of the city-owned Barron Stadium.
At least 13 people have requested time to speak, most of them focused on the proposed ordinance setting a 90-day trial period for the public consumption of alcohol in what is being called a Downtown Dining District.
The Downtown Development Authority brought the issue to commissioners in 2017 and 2020. A motion to approve public consumption died for lack of a second in 2017. Last year’s effort failed on a 5-3 vote.
The commission will also get a recommendation from its General Administration Committee to approve a two- year extension of an agreement with Rome City Schools to manage the historic stadium.
“I wanted to redo it for five years,” Superintendent Lou Byars said Friday. “We feel like it’s a part of our school.”
The system will hold a “welcome back to school” program for teachers and staff Thursday morning at the stadium.
Commissioners will also conduct the last of three public hearings on the proposed 2021 property tax levy, which is reduced slightly from last year.
The levy totals 27.427 mills — for city maintenance and operations, 8.151 mills; capital expenses, 1.826 mills; and the school system, 17.45 mills. Because property values assessments went up this year, the levy will result in a tax increase for many property owners.
The Rome Police Department will also reveal plans for use of a 2021 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant. The city police are expected to ask approval to purchase new “nonlethal electronic control devices,” stun guns, to replace old, outdated units.