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Committee approves 2023 CDBG budget

Sunday, Mar. 5, 2023–4:12 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome Community Redevelopment Committee has given its approval for the proposed 2023 Community Development Block Grant budget and project list.

Rome is set to receive $460,368 in CDBG funding for this year.

$200,000 is being earmarked for Banty Jones Park and $30,368 will go toward a renovation project at the Floyd Training Center.

The project at Banty Jones Park will include a spray ground/splash pad with beaches and shade structures, an entrance with welcome signage, tot/toddler and existing playground areas, a pavilion with picnic area, an outdoor gym with equipment, a walking path, landscaping, and enhanced lighting, improved parking areas and possibly tennis/Pickleball courts.

The total price tag is estimated at $4,258,962.15. Close to $804,000 would come from 2019-2023 CBDG funds. $400,000 would come from the housing authority’s Choice Neighborhood Action Activity funds. $600,000 in local America Rescue Plan funds would also go toward the project, along with $455,000 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

“We have asked the DCA to reallocate money from our revolving loan fund program that has not been used in over five years,’ said Rome Community Development Director Bekki Fox. “The state has asked us to send that money back to them. We have asked that instead of sending it back, for them to let us keep that money and use it for a CDBG-eligible project. We are 99% positive that’s going to happen.”

What the city doesn’t know is whether or not they will get an additional $2 million from the State of Georgia, which has been requested.

“The governor put out a grant application cycle for park improvements for specific parks that are located in a certain census tract, which this park is,” Fox said. “It has to benefit low-income, and minority individuals, which this park does.”

Meanwhile, the Floyd Training Center is getting a total of $305,368 in 2020-2023 CDBG funds for its renovation project.

The entire building only has two operational windows.

The money will be used to uncover and replace exterior windows, repair drywall, and paint, replace the flooring, remove and replace exterior doors with zero-threshold insulated doors, and replace two air conditioning units.

The building at Maple Avenue and East 12th Street was built in the 1950s and is currently owned by the City of Rome.