Rockmart, Georgia

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The City of Rockmart
—  City  —
Motto: "Where Past & Present Stroll Side by Side"[1]
Location in Polk County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyPolk
Established1872
Government
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorSteve Miller
 • City ManagerJeff L. Ellis
 • City ClerkPam Herring
Area
 • Total4.3 sq mi (11.3 km2)
 • Land4.3 sq mi (11.2 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation781 ft (238 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total4,199
 • Density900/sq mi (342.5/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code30153
Area code(s)770
FIPS code13-66276[2]
GNIS feature ID0356502[3]
WebsiteCity of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website
 
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The City of Rockmart
—  City  —
Motto: "Where Past & Present Stroll Side by Side"[1]
Location in Polk County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917Coordinates: 34°0′14″N 85°2′57″W / 34.00389°N 85.04917°W / 34.00389; -85.04917
CountryUnited States
StateGeorgia
CountyPolk
Established1872
Government
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorSteve Miller
 • City ManagerJeff L. Ellis
 • City ClerkPam Herring
Area
 • Total4.3 sq mi (11.3 km2)
 • Land4.3 sq mi (11.2 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation781 ft (238 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total4,199
 • Density900/sq mi (342.5/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code30153
Area code(s)770
FIPS code13-66276[2]
GNIS feature ID0356502[3]
WebsiteCity of Rockmart, Georgia Official Website
Rockmart was named for its economic position as a major quarry and rock market.

Rockmart is a city in Polk County, Georgia. The population was 4,199 at the 2010 census.

Contents

History

Rockmart developed as a railroad depot town when the Southern Railway built a station in the area.[4] The community was incorporated in 1872, and was named for nearby slate deposits.[5]

Geography

Rockmart is located at 34°00′14″N 85°02′57″W / 34.003952°N 85.049202°W / 34.003952; -85.049202.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.69%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 3,870 people, 1,541 households, and 1,027 families residing in the city. The population density was 892.0 people per square mile (344.3/km²). There were 1,681 housing units at an average density of 387.5 per square mile (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.82% White, 18.48% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.

There were 1,541 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,171, and the median income for a family was $36,906. Males had a median income of $31,714 versus $22,381 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,272. About 12.8% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Beginning in the mid 1990s, Rockmart experienced a period of economic expansion. Growth in the form of new restaurants and casual dining, as well as retail shopping, came about as residential building increased. By 2007, in recognition of Rockmart's position as an expanding economic center, a Walmart Supercenter store was opened.

Arts and culture

Rockmart Art Center Theatre.

The Performing Arts are a major attraction in Rockmart. When the new Rockmart High School was constructed, performance space was not included. Instead, the Rockmart Thespians use the historic Rockmart Art Center Theatre. Their performances have included numerous award winning shows. Several of which have won Region AA One Act Competition, and Placed at State AA One Act Competition. Notable among those, RHS Thespians performed Seussical, the Musical which placed 2nd at Region One Act. They won Best Set, Best Costume, Best Ensemble, and Best Actor for the region. In October 2008 the Rockmart High School Thespians placed First at Region AA One Act Competition, with their performance of Godspell. The RHS Thespians then took the show to State AA One Act competition, and placed 3rd out of four schools.[7]

Another important addition to the performing arts in Rockmart is the Rockmart High Marching Yellow Jackets. The band won a best in show at the 2006 and 2008 Golden River Marching Festival. In those competitions, both band and auxiliary sections, such as the drumline, tubas, colorguard and danceline were regarded as being among the best in Northwest Georgia.

A chorus class, taught at Rockmart High School, also performs several concerts each year. A city-wide chorus, open to all citizens, provides additional entertainment to the community.

Parks and recreation

Government

Downtown Rockmart.

Rockmart operates under a council-manager form of government. The city is divided into five council wards, each electing one member to the council. The city's mayor serves as chairman of the council, and is its sixth member. The mayor and council, together, appoint the city manager. Other appointed positions include the city clerk, city attorney, city auditor, and city court judge.

Election 2011

The mayoral election of 2011 resulted in a change of leadership in Rockmart. Mayor Curtis Lewis, who had served in that position for many years, was unseated by former city councilman Steve Miller by a 20 vote margin, in a run-off election.

That close result was the culmination of a process that began with a four candidate general election contest.

That four-way contest, in the November 8th general election, produced the following results: Lewis: 190 (35.71%), Miller: 193 (36.28%), Mike Bradley: 124 (23.31%), and Brenda C. Palmer: 25 (4.7%). City election rules require a majority, rather than a plurality. Since no candidate received over 50% of the vote, Miller and Lewis were cast into a run-off election on December 6.

In the December 6 run-off election, tabulated at the Polk County elections office in Cedartown, Miller won with 220 votes, to Lewis’ 200. Miller was sworn in January 2012. The mayoral term is four years. His first term will expire in January 2015.

Rockmart also had a contested city council race on November 8. Miller’s vacant council seat was open due to his decision to resign and run for mayor. Earl Joe Henderson easily defeated challenger Jimmy McDowell. Henderson tallied 109 votes, for 59.24 percent of the total, to McDowell’s 75 votes (40.76 percent).

Rockmart voters also decided two alcohol referendums, both of which passed.

The first referendum provided for Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink in restaurants. The referendum passed, with 271 “yes” votes (51.62 percent) to 254 “no” votes (48.38 percent).

The second referendum was approved by a larger margin. Voters approved package sales of beer and wine at stores between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. The referendum passed with 283 “yes” votes (53.5 percent) to 246 “no” votes (46.5 percent).

Downtown Rockmart.

Education

Public Schools

Rockmart is a part of the Polk County School District.[10]

Rockmart has one high school, Rockmart High School (encompassing grades 9-12), attended by students from the surrounding community of Aragon. Rockmart High School has many sports and extra curricular activities including football, soccer, and Band. Rockmart High School's Band serves as a major source of pride for the community. The city also has a middle school, Rockmart Middle School (encompassing grades 6-8), two elementary schools, Eastside Elementary School and Vanwert Elementary School. There is also the Polk County campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College which is located in Rockmart.

It was the home of the now closed Anneewakee Treatment Center for Emotionally Disturbed Youth.

References

External links