City changes cold weather shelter policy, zoning change sought for elder care
With temperatures dropping and inclement weather always possible, Rockmart’s city council officially announced new incident response plan for those who have no where else to go and are stuck outdoors.
The new guidelines seek to minimize damage and shelter those in need and were created as a substitute when the group’s previous plan of using the Hogue Avenue gymnasium was deemed a liability threat.
“The issue was tabled at my request,” City Manager Jeff Ellis said. “We took the past month to ask the attorney’s office for a legal opinion, and we also asked the Georgia Municipal Association to give us an insurable position regarding it. The committee met, the staff met, and it was our unanimous decision to not allow the use of the facility-- therefore we wrote two emergency operation plans. The one (advice) that stuck the most was the legal opinion of the city’s attorney office.”
Instead, the operational plans are shared with community partners primarily churches - who have agreed to coordinate with the city and offer shelter or aid to those in need.
The council will also pay relevant staff to be active with said partners during emergency situations.
The plans are already in place, but shelter will be offered only in extreme bouts of weather or natural disasters.
In other council business for December, options for elder care in Rockmart might soon expand if zoning changes are approved.
Business Focal HomeCare is attempting to open an adult day care center, and the company requested an amendment that would allow them to rent the city’s former health council needs only to adopt department building at 320 the ordinance amendment Water St. before the business is
If the change is not allowed to operate within opposed in a forthcoming the city limits. public hearing during the Those interested in the first meeting of the New future of the document Year, the amendment could are urged to attend the pave the way for more upcoming Rockmart senior assistance. meeting.
“Focal HomeCare would A zoning amendment like to rent the former wouldn’t be the only change health department building coming to Rockmart in and operate an adult day 2019. care for seniors 55 and The council approved a older from 7 a.m. through slew of new appointments 7 p.m.,” Department of to the Rockmart Cultural Community Development Arts Center Advisory Director Stacey Smith Committee including Ellis said. “Mr. (Jeff) Ellis and as a returning member as I discovered there is not a the city manager, Bruce definition that would apply Bell for Liason, James Hill to that type of business, so for visual arts, Margaret Focal HomeCare requested Jacobs for performing arts, we amend our zoning to Donna Duff for literary include adult daycares in arts, Margaret Bearden whatever zone we found for education, and Cathy admissible.” Matthews for business.
The group found the Those interested in businesscouldoperateasa attending Rockmart conditional use in C-2 and meetings can visit city hall C-3 areas before agreeing to on the second Tuesday of advertise a public hearing. each month beginning at
If uncontested, the 7 p.m.