New PTC mayor: maintenance effort to continue

In her first State of the City address to the Peachtree City Rotary Club Thursday, new Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said the city would continue to improve maintenance and rejuvenate city facilities in the coming year.

A proposed facilities bond would include projects such as improvements to the park at Battery Way off Lake Peachtree and the addition of electricity to Drake Field so more community-oriented events may be hosted there, Fleisch said.

“The summer movie series on the lawn at Drake Field was a success and we need to build on that momentum by holding more events for our citizens that add to our sense of community,” Fleisch said.

In addition, the city has made “significant strides in restoring regular maintenance to our facilities,” Fleisch said.

“Public works and our storm water crews are hard at work and it is my hope that they will be more visible to the public,” Fleisch said. “Over the next few months we have projects that are being initiated to improve our storm water infrastructure at both Kedron Ponds and the Rockspray dam. These are necessary projects that have unfortunately been put off for years. Last year we approved a bond to cover the expense of these projects and it is time we get them started.”

At right, Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch. Photo/Special.

Another major development on tap this year is the implementation of a new computerized traffic management system on Ga. Highway 54 West that is being conducted by the Georgia Department of Transportation with funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

“The DOT realizes that this isn’t a magic bullet for our traffic issues, but this system is a step in the right direction,” Fleisch said. “The DOT thinks that a study of the entire area is warranted and has offered their help in assisting the city in determining the scope of a traffic study for the 54 west corridor.”

The city will also develop a new recreational master plan this year to get “the highest and best use” out of its facilities spread over 416 acres, Fleisch said. That task is being undertaken by the Recreation and Special Events Advisory Board, she added.

Fleisch also noted that the city’s elected officials are starting off the new year “with a new sense of cooperation and dedication; representing you and our beautiful city in a positive, professional manner.”

“It was refreshing to sit in our orientation training last week as some of these goals were discussed,” Fleisch said. “While we may not all agree on every point, I think we have a team that can set a direction for staff and focus on maintaining what we love about this wonderful community.”

Looking back on 2013, the city reaped the benefits of funding for a new position at the Fayette County Development Authority to promote business retention and expansion, with Panasonic being the first recipient of a jobs grant from the city as it adds engineering positions to its facility here, Fleisch said.

On the business aspect of the city, Calpis America is building a manufacturing facility in the industrial park with offices that adds up to a significant investment, Fleisch said. Meanwhile, Alta Refrigeration is adding nearly 200,000 sq. ft., the Braelinn Kroger is expanding an additional 40,000 sq. ft. and Westpark Walk shopping center is getting an exterior makeover, she added.

The city is also seeing an uptick in residential development as the Somerby at Peachtree City senior complex has opened its first phase and the Hearthside at Peachtree City senior apartments are near completion. Also The Gates subdivision off Ga. Highway 74 South will also come online in 2014, she said.

The city also reopened three spruced-up facilities that were previously underused and had maintenance issues, Fleisch said, pointing to the McIntosh Place senior center which was formerly the city’s recreation administration building, the Glenloch Recreation building and the city’s new Welcome Center.

Fleisch noted that the city police and fire departments are already implementing suggestions from a detailed review conducted last year by a consultant, and she feels both are “moving forward, continuing to serve the citizens of this city.”

“Both of our departments have served us well and each have received accolades from their respective professional organizations,” Fleisch said.