Lawmakers to take up proposed $45.7M city budget

Heritage district, solar arrays also before councilors

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Tabled legislation concerning the creation of the new Heritage District-Erie Canal Zone on Rome-New London Road and authorization of a six-month moratorium on the establishment and construction of solar arrays within the city will be considered during the next Common Council meeting to be held in Council Chambers of City Hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Common Council members will also take up Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo’s proposed $45.7 million spending plan for 2022. The council has been meeting with department heads and other city officials since the budget — which includes no property tax increase as well as no increases in water, sewer and garbage rates, was presented to the council at its Wednesday, Sept. 22, meeting.

Prior to the regular meeting, two public hearings will be held in Council Chambers.

At 6:30 p.m. there will be a public hearing regarding the annual budget, and at 6:50 p.m., there will be a hearing concerning the imposition of a moratorium on solar arrays. Residents are invited to share their views with the councilors on both matters, officials said.

Before meeting with the public, the councilors are schedule to meet with the department heads of the city’s Code Enforcement and Police Department.

By charter, the councilors are required to approve a budget by the end of October. The council may cut, but may not add, to the mayor’s budget proposal.

Heritage District

Ordinance 9468A calls for amending the Rome Code of Ordinances Chapter 80 — Zoning Code and Related Maps, to include the new Heritage District-Erie Canal (HD-EC) Zone.

The proposed legislation creates a new definition for ‘living history museum,’ then also adds some additional uses — like temporary uses that would require a
permit from City Codes, like a temporary farmers market or craft sale in the
parking lot, regarding the Erie Canal Village parcel and Rome Sports Hall of Fame parcel.

The Ordinance would also allow current ECV owner Richard Rios, of California, and Cross Roads Redemption Church, to operate ECV as a living history museum, which is not currently allowed by codes, and the parcel would be subject to codes and fire inspections. Councilors have previously said that Rios has already done two projects at the site without archaeological sign-off.

The Fort Bull/Fort Wood Creek parcel is not be included in the legislation, because that land needs to be preserved and protected for historical and archaeological purposes.

Solar arrays

Ordinance 9477T would grant the Common Council the authority to amend both the Zoning Code when its deemed the amendment would protect the health, welfare and safety of citizens and businesses, or further the public interest, and to impose a moratorium where appropriate on the construction of solar farms.

According to the ordinance, during the six-month moratorium, the city Planning Board cannot approve any site plan that would lead to the construction of a solar array; the Zoning Board of Appeals could not grant a variance, special use permit or other permit for any use that would result in the construction of a solar array; and the Chief Codes Enforcement Officer cannot issue any building permit or other permit resulting in the construction of a solar array.

Other tabled legislation to be considered by the council will be Resolution 69, authorizing the appointment to the Board of Assessment Review, and Ordinance 9478, approving the 2022 city budget.

New business:

• Resolution 76 accepting a donation presented to the city Department of Parks and Recreation for sponsorship of the 2021 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony fireworks show for $750 from Joe Fazio Auto Sales.

• Resolution 77 accepting a $1,000 donation from John and Lolita Ward, presented to the city, to be used toward the purchase of police body cameras.

• Ordinance 9479 authorizing the mayor to approve the sale of a city-owned parcel at 8015 Lauther Road for $3,000 to John and Kristi Reap.

• Ordinance 9480 authorizing the closing of streets for the annual Holiday Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

In communications, Fuji Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse, Inc., 5925 Rome-Taberg Road, has notified the city of its intent to renew its liquor license; Franca’s Wine Room, 260 W. Dominick St., has notified the City Clerk’s Office of its intent to obtain a liquor license; and the Department of Public Works Report of Travel, Conferences & Training for the quarter ending Sept. 30 will be placed on file.

The Common Council meeting will also be available online, via Livestream, starting at 7 p.m. by visiting www.romenewyork.com/common-council.

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