Work is expected to continue as soon as weather permits, according to local officials.
The Rockmart Mayor and Council approved the rezoning request of the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority (NGHA) for the property. This paved the way for the demolition work to begin on structures that are to be removed.
Planning for the project, which includes 14 parcels, has been underway for several months. Eleven of these are comprised of vacant lots, along with what was once a small commercial building. The building was included to allow for more room for new construction on the north side of the street.
Northwest Georgia Housing Authority (NGHA) is collaborating with the City of Rockmart to build 26 apartments within the planned complex.
Fifteen of these apartments will be designated Public Housing and will replace 15 of the 150 Charles Hight Homes (demolished units). Six apartments will be designated as project-based Choice Voucher Units and five will be designated as Affordable Housing Units.
The majority of these one and two bedroom units will be ground floor apartments with two fully handicap access units provided.
According to initial information provided, Phase I will include 15 units and infrastructure, which will total about $2,472,084. Phase II will include 11 units and will be built at a cost of $3,485,087.
Budget statistics show that the 26 apartments will total $2,420,000 with $225,087 designated for land purchase (NSP) and $840,000 infrastructure / additional purchase and relocation.
Council members, during the December meeting, also gave the green light to a request from Helen Weaver to rezone property at 119 Piedmont Avenue from R-5 to C-2.
In addition, the group approved an ordinance regulating outdoor landscape watering, pending review of Mike McRae, city attorney, and placing ordinance violations with code enforcement staff instead of public works.
The ordinance meets requirements set by the Georgia General Assembly, effective Jan. 1, 2011. It will allow landscape watering between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. with certain exceptions put in place during drought conditions.
A report was given on the request for proposals for real estate agent/marketing services in connection with the sale of the former Rockmart City Hall, 200 South Marble Street. Target date for soliciting bids is April 2011.
City department reports revealed the following:
Community Development – November permit activity included a commercial permit with the property value of $654,000. In addition to the building permit, the department also issued two sign permits and had a total of 13 building inspections.
In his report, Craig Taylor pointed out that building has been slow due to the economy with only a few new housing starts over the past few months. However, he focused on the fact that commercial growth continues to move up.
Rockmart Fire Depart-ment: Alarms were up during November but mileage and fuel consumption was down. A total of 81 requests for services were logged, compared with 78 in November 2009.
False alarms were also down in November. These included a call to the old middle school, a business for a sprinkler alarm malfunction and the high school where a student pulled a station alarm. Such calls represent 4.3 percent of all alarms during 2010.
On Nov. 18, staff completed the annual hazardous material drill with a simulated chemical leak at a warehouse facility. They also conducted the first test burns in the new structural fire simulator.
Police Department: Answered 658 calls during November as compared to 826 in October. A total of 674 calls were recorded by 911 in November 2009 and 674 in October of the same year.
The department’s statistics showed that 184 cases were logged compared to 259 in October. This compares with totals of 240 in November and 291 in October 2009.
Chief Keith Sorrells said the Speed Trailer was put back in operation and positioned on Elm Street in an attempt to slow drivers approaching the crosswalk at the Post Office. Plans are to use the trailer in reported problem areas.
Public Works – Water: The plant output during November totaled 42,374,433; 4,704,729 million gallons of water loss was reported, which totals about 11.10 percent.
Other department activity includes: Leaves, 33; limbs, 59; 8 water leaks repaired.