PTC to debate traffic, cut-thru to Planterra Thursday night

Traffic on Ga. Highway 54 West will take center stage again at Thursday night’s meeting of the Peachtree City Council.

At its last meeting, council moved towards the idea of petitioning the Georgia Department of Transportation for a large-scale review of what causes traffic problems on the corridor, particularly for westbound vehicles during afternoon drive time. The matter was postponed, however, as Mayor Don Haddix expressed concerns with the wording of the letter that would be sent to the DOT.

When Hwy. 54 traffic is at its worst in the afternoons, westbound autos can back up from the intersection of Ga. Highways 54 and 74 all the way back to City Hall.

Councilman George Dienhart has used the discussions of traffic on Hwy. 54 West to advocate for the city to oppose a new traffic light for a proposed grocery store at the intersection of Line Creek Drive and Hwy. 54. Dienhart has said the representatives of that grocer, later divulged as a Publix, have also asked for a road linking to Planterra Way, as a requirement along with the traffic light to make the grocery store a reality.

Dienhart, an announced candidate for mayor in this fall’s elections, has said he opposes the road link to Planterra, and he has criticized his fellow council members for not joining his battle.

In other business, council is slated to hear a presentation from city staff on various projects funded by a $3 million facilities improvement bond approved by council last year. The funds were designated to repair a number of city-owned facilities and assets ranging from park benches and sports field dugouts to fire station driveway and parking areas. Many of those assets had fallen into significant disrepair, city officials have said previously.

According to a memo from Community Services Director Jon Rorie, 21 of the 28 funded projects have been completed, with five remaining active and in progress. There is a remaining balance projected of $246,912 and Rorie is proposing to fund various underfunded projects including $45,000 to conduct electrical upgrades at city pools, $42,000 for the All Children’s Playground and $20,000 for improvements at the Glenloch Recreation Center.

So far, the biggest expenditure by far for the facilities bond was the replacement of the temporary bubble erected over the Kedron pools each year. That cost $667,000, a higher figure than planned because of problems that crept up as the new system was installed. The city has also paid for $213,000 in upgrades to public tennis courts that had fallen into disrepair. Another $549,000 was spent to provide a significant upgrade to the former recreation administration building so it could be used as a second place to host senior programming in conjunction with the nearby Gathering Place center.

The city has also spent another $239,000 to make improvements at the tennis center and $96,000 to upgrade the heating, ventilation and cooling system at the Peachtree City Police Department.

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