After a tumultuous debate the Rome City Commission agreed to put taxpayers on the hook for a $120 million new Rome Middle School.
Commissioners Jim Bojo, Jamie Doss, Craig McDaniel, and Randy Quick all voted “no” while Bonny Askew, Elaina Beeman, Bill Collins, Mark Cochran and Saundai Stevenson voted “yes” for the city to purchase $120 million in bonds.
Citizens of the City of Rome will be on the hook to pay back the bonds, with interest, for the next 20 years.
Last year’s ESPLOST only included $54 million for the school, meaning citizens will more than likely to reup ESPLOST for the campus over the next few terms. If voters decide to vote down ELOST in the future a millage rate increase would likely be in store for property owners.
Commissioner Craig McDaniel, who voted “no”, said that he would have been in favor of a $70 million bond because of the concern that such a high price tag could have on citizens in the future.
Commissioner Quick is quoted to say that he could not justify the $120 million for a new Rome Middle School when a school in Bartow County was just completed for $48 million.
Of the $120 million for the middle school, $25 million is set aside for a sports complex.
Commissioner Askew is quoted to say, “We can spend $22 million for a new police but we can’t spend $100 million for education. “I think that is a sad state of affairs for this city.”
The Floyd Superior Court will now be asked to validate the bonds for the city of Rome. After that is completed a supplemental bond resolution will go back to the City Commission for final approval on October 23rd.