Officials also are negotiating an agreement to cover the costs of running and maintaining the new Emergency Operations Center on East 12th Street.
The facility houses the Rome-Floyd County Fire Department headquarters and education center, the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency and a backup 911 center.
EMA offices already are set up and fire personnel are moving into the complex, which was funded with a $4 million earmark in the 2009 special purpose, local option sales tax package.
City Manager John Bennett said an open house is expected to be scheduled before the end of the year.
The EOC was built on city-owned property, which is part of the land swap agreement attorneys are polishing up before it’s presented to the separate boards for approval.
Bennett said the city will give the county a half-interest in the EOC land and in property it owns next to the Town Green. The trade will include an easement to the new radio tower site on Blossom Hill and the resolution of an old claim connected with the construction of Rome High on Veterans Memorial Highway.
In exchange, County Manager Blaine Williams said the county is deeding to the city half-interests in the Town Green and Third Avenue Parking Deck land and in the John Ross Memorial Pedestrian Bridge.
“The intent is the city and county will share ownership of those facilities,” he said.
The EOC’s opening also means the start of expenses incurred at any building — from janitorial services, painting and plumbing repairs to utility bills, pest control and yard work.
Williams submitted a proposal for the city to pay the utility bills while the county’s maintenance department takes care of the rest. The split is projected at $55,962 from the county and $45,403 from the city each year.
The problem: single meters serve the spaces for both the joint fire department and the county-funded EMA and 911 center. Also, only estimates are available for the utility costs.
Plans are to track the utility costs for about six months and revisit the proposal. Bennett said an alternative — used at the Law Enforcement Center — is that one entity takes care of all the costs and the other is billed monthly for its share of the expense.