Street repaving to be PTC's SPLOST priority

Peachtree City Council at the March 12 retreat. (Top, L-R) Vanessa Fleisch, Doug Sturbaum, Don Haddix, Kim Learnard and Eric Imker. Photo/John Munford.

Multiple projects canceled; streets and cart paths to get lion’s share of remaining $3.3M; cart bridge widening nixed

Peachtree City has $3.35 million remaining from the 2004 transportation special purpose local option sales tax, and nearly 72 percent of those funds will be used to maintain city streets and upgrade the cart path system.

CIty staff is recommending that $2.42 million be diverted toward the street and cart path work. The city is saving SPLOST money by canceling scheduled projects that are either too costly or are not necessary in the near future.

City Engineer David Borkowski said the city is looking to spend only on SPLOST projects where there are existing transportation problems. As a result, SPLOST projects recommended for cancellation include:

• Widening of the cart path bridge over Lake Peachtree along Ga. Highway 54 ($775,454). The city will spend money to finish design on the project;

• Construction of a gateway cart path bridge over Ga. Highway 54 West near MacDuff and Wynnmeade parkways ($441,000). The city will spend money to finish project design;

• Intersection improvements at Peachtree Parkway and Walt Banks Road ($147,000 in SPLOST funds). The intersection’s level of service now is acceptable and would have required right of way acquisition to improve, Borkowski said. Though the intersection is projected to have a “failing” grade in 2027, there is no guarantee it will get to that point, he added;

• Implementation of quiet zones for railroad crossings ($868,000).

• Cart path bridges over Ga. Highway 74 north and also over Ga. Highway 54 East which are on hold for grant funding. DOT is allowing carts to cross at-grade at the 54 East location which allows residents to travel from the Lexington Circle shopping center to the Peachtree East shopping center;

• Intersection improvements at Crosstown Drive and Robinson Road, which are not necessary due to current traffic levels.

Future projects still funded in the SPLOST but not yet underway include:

• $358,000 to finish the approach paths and extension of a path northward from the new cart path tunnel at Ga. Highway 74 and Paschall Road to The Avenue shopping center.

• $10,000 for an accident mitigation study at the intersection of Peachtree Parkway north and Tinsley Mill. There have been a small number of rear-end collisions reported at the intersection, Borkowski said.

• Design funds for the realignment of the intersection of Robinson and Redwine Roads. Although the intersection has the lowest scores for moving traffic, it does not yet qualify for a traffic light, Borkowski said.

jeep2
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$ 26.90

Really???? Are we squabbling over this very small amount for a tax increase?? People spend more than that driving thru Chic Fil A to feed the kids on the way to the soccer/baseball game.
Get over yourselves and face reality. This city is in a budget crisis and it HAS to provide services. I will miss the police officer/firefighter/paramedic much more than my $26.90 when I need them. And for Imker and all of you out there who feel the police and firefighters can leave if they dont like it: YOU show up at the PD or the fire station tomorrow morning willing, ready and (un)able to perform their job duties. Put YOUR lives on the line for the salary that they make here, and the raises that they HAVE NOT gotten.They work here because they are committed to this community that they serve and many are city residents. And if you CAN'T AFFORD to live here, if you CANT AFFORD the 26.90 then MOVE OUT!! It is NOT a city or towns responsibility to provide YOU with a place that you can afford. Go to Riverdale, I am sure their taxes are much less than ours.
And since anyone on here who is for a rate increase is ASSUMED to be a city employee, I am not. I am a 20 plus year resident of this town. I have seen what PTC was; what it is now and what the potential to become is; with AND without the increase. Take my 26.90 and keep what PTC was (and somewhat still is) and avoid the future destruction of this town.

inkslinger
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26.90...just a drop in the city's bucket..

Okay, I'm convinced. Take my money. Take as much as you think you need. Of course, what you think you need will change with the wind, right?

So, here, take some more money. Oops, no that's my Chick-fil-A money. What, you don't care? It has to be spent on whatever the politicians say to spend it on? No problem. What, you want some of my savings, too? No problem. And money for my kids I've put away for them? No problem. They won't care, they aren't even old enough to count.

Just make sure this "phantom budget" gets fed and fed and fed. Can't let the city run out of money. No sireee...whatever it takes, I'm for it. Gotta prove to all I work with and my family that the cost of living here was worth it 20 years ago and I can't be proven wrong now or any time in the future. So, here's my account number and my bank-just withdraw at will.

Obama is trying to teach all of us how to do this, but some of us don't quite get it yet.

No problem. Maybe we'll get the hang of it in 2 or 3 years. Or, maybe I'll just take your wise words and learn to live by them.

GAltant
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Mr. Haddix

Mr. Mayor,
I appreciate your patience.
Just raise the taxes enough to cover this year's shortfall and most of next year's shortfall. Let's bring this silliness to an end!

inkslinger
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Ref: Haddix-Chief-mayor-see below--It's nice to see

you and Bernie becoming buds now. Must be a case of mayorielitis. Guess his old buddy left him in the dust.

inkslinger
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Well, the last

3 comments before this are obviously by city employees. If you live in this city, you have a right to speak up. But, some of your comments are just not going to fly in this economy. Sure, we have good employees. If you weren't, you would be gone. That is not to say there aren't 30 more "good" employees waiting for your job. The employment pool is so overloaded with talented people right now, many would do a better job. Don't kid yourselves that you are unique in that respect. And that is a fact.

The survey results are so flawed and skewed, they can only be taken for a very small sample of what opinions are here. Sixteen hundred results do not represent the population here. There are over eight thousand households here, I think. (Feel free to correct this) Yes, those that did reply are verbal about what they want. But they are not the majority. The results also are skewed to the seniors who mostly answer these. Again, look around. There are many, many more boomer and younger adults here than there are seniors. Shame on them for not answering the survey.

There was NO question on the survey (purposely) to ask if you prefer NO tax increase, but are willing to forego services from staff (as in cuts). So let's take the survey with a grain of salt. And stop the surveys altogether. The answers they generate are not representative of our popultation as a whole, since there are so few replies.

Could Imker have stopped before he made his last comment? Sure. Should Eiswerth have stopped ranting about the last 4 or more council decisions that he still has a chip on his shoulder about? You bet. Did you hear Chief Skip do that or any other dept. head do that? Nope, even though we all know what they were thinking, they showed the true leadership that Eisworth should have.

Did you not get the stat thrown out that we have 24 employees here who are making 90 to 100k or more??? You think these decisions are tough to make? Think 3 years down the road with NO cash reserves left, no SPLOST $ left, and having just gone thru what will probably be 3 years coming up of city millage rate increases...then what??? The fed. govt. is gonna be swimming in debt that is beyond obscene (thanks to the Obama abmomination), the state is gonna be more broke, no question inflation will be rampant by then, too. Employee cuts will be the least of the issues we all will face then. You'll be screaming for them.

cmc865
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Goil...

You missed my point...yes the city needs to make some choices, however balancing all on the few who make the city what it PTC is will not make it work....some from each side will. The employees have made those cuts where is the balance. Secondly, just because I am a city employee, I still live and pay taxes here, I don't forgo my right to a voice on the subject. Lastly, the salaries statement, many have worked here for a number of years and you pay for there experience, knowledge, skills. To replace with new cheaper employees actually cost more or the same in time spent training, certifying, etc...and when we bailed out the big banks they didn't cut salaries of employees, they actually gave huge bonuses to help the companies return to profitability and retain quality employees and quality leadership.

SPQR
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cmc- reality check

Not in any way to undervalue your contributions but to bring to the forefront the brutal realities of the situation. No matter how good you are you are expendable. It may not be "fair" it may not even make good sense but if we have to throw something out of the boat in desperation to keep it afloat and you are one of the heavier objects guess what?

cmc865
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Mr. Imker....

I have watched and listened to you for 2 days and I truly feel you and some other citizens take this city's services and amenities for granted. You expect and demand services but when its time to pay for them you turn away. Reminds me of a book I read my children.
The employees continue to do there share and have forfeited thousands with increased benefits, loss of c.o.l.a, loss of merit increases,ect..and now you expect more from them and you don't expect us taxpaying citizens to pony up $26.90 a year for increase taxes. I moved my family into this city for its special differences and amenities it offered. I would gladly pay a little more to help continue the great quality of life my family come to enjoy. I see NO compromise in your suggestions. Tax payers need to take some of the responsibility for services and the extras this city offers. Its not free....it cost money to maintain......
Finally why do you and others ignore the citizen survey that overwhelmingly stated 70% of the citizen would be in favor of a slight tax increase to maintain services offered. The argument that it was skewed is lacking ,,,just because it listed the services the city offered first and then asked for if we would be interested in a slight tax increase.....All the facts it listed were to give the citizens a bit of reality to what the city offers and all of its services in which many like you take for granted. I am appalled by your final statement of if "the employees don't like it they can quit"... it shows your complete lack of touch with reality and what and who (the employees) truly make PTC a wonderful place to call home.

inkslinger
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Councilmember Imker- Fire Chief Eiswerth-Mayor Haddix....

A few notes here....Mayor Haddix agrees to let Councilmember Imker present his well known list of budget cuts at the very end of the retreat. Good move.

Imker prefaces his comments (ad nauseum) stating that he knows these suggestions will not be well received nor accepted by others. Good move.

Imker delivers his comments, being interrupted many times by Haddix, mainly. Bad move, Haddix.

Then, Fire Chief Eiswerth who had just been given 20k back into his budget for potential cuts to his dept. for THIS year by all council, starts his tirade against Imker. Bad move.

Haddix doen't stop him. Even worse move.

To Chief Eiswerth, your tirade was out of line and uncalled for. You know, sometimes 20 year employees just need to step back and realize the good old days are OVER. If you are this bitter, maybe you need to reconsider your future here.

To Mayor Haddix, you need to let others on council speak. They were voted in as you were, and even thought they have differing viewpoints from you, suck it up and listen. You let this whole situation get out of control. Imker's suggestions were just that, suggestions.

You should have called the meeting to a close as soon as he finished. There was no need to let this digress to the level you let it digress to.

Listen to the streaming video at www.peachtree-city.org.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Chief-Mayor

It is important to make a correction to your statements here.

Every presenter was stopped at key points in their presentations with comments appropriate to that point. I did it as did every Council Member. Imker was not immune.

I interrupted where he made serious errors in his statements.

The Chief was not the only one with a problem with what he said. Even the City Manager stated objections to his statements.

There is a reason on serious proposal why you reach out first for input to refine proposals before presenting them.

inkslinger
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The City Manager stated objections to his statements...

sorry, didn't hear him complain about the cuts Imker suggested. Thought I heard him complain that he felt Imker was implying that he and Paul Salvatore mismanaged the money. I must have imagined that.

Oh, and thank you to The Citizen for an article on putting the credit in the right place for Commander David Williamson for the ISO reduction we all received. A true leader.

Terriers88
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Having watched a good bit of

Having watched a good bit of this on the website today, I need to correct you on several key points. First and foremost, Mr. Imker was way way out of line with his comment that if you are unhappy with your job, there are 30 people waiting to take your place. How arrogant. Mr. Imker spent 2 days listening to reports from city Department heads on the quality of City employees and how they, while being understaffed, have done great things. Mr. Rast pointed out that the Kedron Rec Center has done many things to improve revenue, to the point of Council saying to not move forward with outsourcing Kedron Rec center. Chief Eiswerth demonstrated that through the ISO evaluation, city residents have saved, on average, 1 mil. on their insurance premiums. There were many statements on how the employees are "wearing many hats", "understaffed", and "I don't know how they are going to do what council has asked". Bottom line, this city is staffed by great employees who truly care about Peachtree City being a great place. If you were there or watching online, you would have also seen that everyone recognized that years of poor council decisions and putting things off has finally caught up with us. The City employees, for the second year and after many successful efforts to make the City a great place to live, will not see a pay raise. This after taking a pay cut when the costs of benefits were raised last year. Mr. Imker, your proposal is a slap in the face to every City Employee. PTC Goil, if you paid any attention, Mr. Imker had his say. When others had their say, it was Mr. Imker who interrupted. Mr. Imker was way out of line and I, for one, am embarrassed to say that he is an elected offical. I certainly did not vote for him.

cmc865
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Thanks Chief...

THANK YOU! For speaking for the employees of this city...Many of whom are taxpaying citizens too. You gained a lot of respect today from your people and many that work in other departments around the city too.

Terriers88
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Goil

Having watched a good bit of this on the website today, I need to correct you on several key points. First and foremost, Mr. Imker was way way out of line with his comment that if you are unhappy with your job, there are 30 people waiting to take your place. How arrogant. Mr. Imker spent 2 days listening to reports from city Department heads on the quality of City employees and how they, while being understaffed, have done great things. Mr. Rast pointed out that the Kedron Rec Center has done many things to improve revenue, to the point of Council saying to not move forward with outsourcing Kedron Rec center. Chief Eiswerth demonstrated that through the ISO evaluation, city residents have saved, on average, 1 mil. on their insurance premiums. There were many statements on how the employees are "wearing many hats", "understaffed", and "I don't know how they are going to do what council has asked". Bottom line, this city is staffed by great employees who truly care about Peachtree City being a great place. If you were there or watching online, you would have also seen that everyone recognized that years of poor council decisions and putting things off has finally caught up with us. The City employees, for the second year and after many successful efforts to make the City a great place to live, will not see a pay raise. This after taking a pay cut when the costs of benefits were raised last year. Mr. Imker, your proposal is a slap in the face to every City Employee. PTC Goil, if you paid any attention, Mr. Imker had his say. When others had their say, it was Mr. Imker who interrupted. Mr. Imker was way out of line and I, for one, am embarrassed to say that he is an elected offical. I certainly did not vote for him.

ginga1414
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Good For You

I highly commend Peachtree City officials. I sure wish other officials in this county would do the same.

wdouggrif
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Street paving

I live in a neighborhood where the main road was just repaved. I assume SPLOST money was used. It is my opinion it was completely unnecessary. I am no road construction expert, but it appeared in very good shape. It seems that this money could have been put to use on far more worthy projects, or just saved!

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