PTC poised to raise property tax

City Hall, Peachtree City. File photo.

Peachtree City residents and business owners will get their first chance to provide input on a proposed one-mill tax increase at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

The average Peachtree City homeowner would face a $100 increase in property taxes, which is being billed as necessary to make up for a lack of funding in road and cart path maintenance.

The increase would give the city an additional $1.7 million in revenue for the coming fiscal year. Under the current version of the budget, the city would nearly double its funding for street resurfacing at a cost of $717,000; increase cart path surfacing by $75,000; hire landscaping crews and ditch the less than popular outsourcing process for city landscaping (additional cost of $382,000); set aside 3 percent of total employees’ salary to pay for implementation of a salary study ($405,000) and another $200,000 for bridge and infrastructure maintenance.

The budget also presumes the use of a $3 million facilities bond to repair city facilities such as fire stations and the like. As savings, the budget eliminates funding for a public works director, a reduction of $85,000 though the position remains intact but unfilled.

As for the future, the millage rate would result in the city using about $350,000 in cash reserves over the next four years, which would leave the reserves still in a healthy position the fifth year at 26 percent of the city’s overall annual budget. City policy requires those cash reserves to be kept at a minimum of 20 percent of the city’s annual budget.

The city is projecting to end this fiscal year with a fund balance of 33 percent, equal to about $10.26 million.

In other business, the council is expected to approve the low $128,756 bid to purchase an excavator from Border Equipment.

Also council is slated to consider a staff recommendation to lower the two-year maintenance bond requirement from 110 percent of the construction cost of the subdivision to 50 percent of the construction cost. Such a bond is required to enforce a maintenance guarantee for two years following the signing of the final plat, signifying that the city has assumed ownership of the streets and cart paths.

Bostonian212
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Ditch the less than popular outsourcing project?

Who's the one that was hired to Manage the City and made this less than popular recommendation? Was it the same person that has made some of the other bone head decisions for the city since his arrival? Is it the same Doctor that came to PTC from about a half dozen other municipalities during his City Mgmt career?

Speaking of ditching...maybe Council needs to consider doing exactly that while they are at it! Consider the news headlines (and law suits) that have taken place surrounding PTC since the Doctor came to town. Not real good medicine (or remedies) he has prescribed!

Maybe it is time for a new PTC ad campaign...Ditch the Ditcher!

MrBeef
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You are a broken record Dar

Provide some figures to back up your 3% PTC resident usage. Who or where do you get your numbers from? I have looked in the parking lot like you have told us to and do not see primarily out of county tags as you have stated more than once. You recently got blasted on here for claims about the Kedron costs because you finally admitted the costs were for the whole complex and not just the pool. Everyone knows you hate the pool, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just because you didn't move here for the pool that doesn't mean there aren't people who did. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone agree with you on here on this subject.

dar thompson
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Here are some facts for you

If you visit the Kedron pool in the middle of summer you will find 30% to 35% of the car tags are from out of county. Understand, that many of the Fayette County tags are not PTC residents...the pool is not paid for with county tax dollars, the facility is paid for by PTC tax dollars. To be clear, only Peachtree City tax dollars pay for the Kedron Aquatic Center.

If the county paid for the pool we would be having a different discussion. Do you realize that the PTC government has gone to the county (in the past)to ask for county tax dollars for the pool? The county knows that there is no benefit and therefore has told PTC..."No...we didn't tell you to build the pool.". The pool is your problem. In other words don't make your problem a county problem.

The majority of the cost are related to the pool. I really have trouble understanding your argument, a 10 million dollar loss is a 10 million dollar loss. Who cares how it is allocated? Many of the residents I have discussions with about the pool, didn't even know we have a pool.

If I provide you with the fact that there is 3% consistent usage by PTC residents will you pick up your swimming trunks and go home?

What if we built an ice-rink that only lost $200,000 a year of the tax-payers money...would you be okay with that?

Trust me, there are many people that agree with me on this subject...of how irresponsible it is to lose the kind of money that we lose year-in and year-out.

dar thompson
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Savings

I find it irresponsible to ask for an additional tax increase while we continue to operate the "Kedron Pool and Field House" at a $400,000 a year loss.

The "Kedron Pool" has cost tax-payers of this city an estimated 10 to 12 million dollars since it began operations. Anyone can use the facility but only Peachtree City Citizens pay the taxes to operate this sinking ship.

I say clean up your own house and be responsible with the current issues at hand before asking for additional money from the tax-payer.

It sure would be nice to have that extra 10 million dollars now...wouldn't it?

NeilSullivan
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Dar Question

I really do not know so I need to ask. Are you saying the Kedron complex operating budget is $400k after revenue? That might not be so bad for a public facility that gives gym space, pool, and REC sports. Isn't it try the gathering place costs twice as much?

take care,

n

dar thompson
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Neil

The Kedron Aquatic Center is not a "loss leader" such as our soccer fields and baseball complex which can be justified.

The Aquatic Center is not the reason someone moves to Peachtree City or stays in Peachtree City. Furthermore there are private facilities and even other public facilities that offer everything Kedron has.

Furthermore, only about 3% of Peachtree City citizens use this facility on a consistent basis which has always been part of my argument.

Based on your assumption "The Gathering Place" would cost PTC about $65,000 a month to operate. I would have to do the research but I hope this venue doesn't cost more than $100,000 annually to operate.

abeautifulday4us
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Mr. Thompson---- given your

Mr. Thompson---- given your maintenance record, I would prefer that the City Pool remain clean.

dar thompson
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First

If you are going to be negative on this blog at least have the courage to use your real name and not hide behind a veneer of an assumed username.

If your not willing to use your name, your comments carry little merit...at best.

Furthermore, the 11,000 members we currently have seem to appreciate the new pool which has a perfect record with the county. Maybe you should do your homework before you speak of what you do not know. BTW...we are the only pool in the county that offers a dehumidification system for the pool. We are the only facility in the county chosen by Healthways & Silver Sneakers to offer their programing...which speaks volumes to the quality we offer at our facilities. They have turned down other providers.

NeilSullivan
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Dar - Kedron H & F How's this for vision?

Rarely can one post twist in two threads but here we are.

Dar:

I see your point but disagree. I think the Kedron complex does serve its purpose to the children of PTC/ Fayette County. I do understand there are private options, just not public ones. To your point, I grew up in Parsippany NJ. We played all of our youth sports in the school gyms not one complex.

BUT. As we have the vision of the few foist upon the unconcerned many, I have to wonder if this leads us to an actual pillar upon which to grow our county. Some say build an Arts Center when there are two within 30 minutes (Clayton and Coweta) and great facilities in Atlanta. Why not make investment in our children a focus.

We do that with our excellent Fayette schools despite our legislature's war on public education. But what about recreation as a whole? Why not a quality aquatic center for people of all ages. Drawing options for our kids to compete in Swim/Dive. This is something unique to Fayette.

The agenda of our vision pays word to our kids and speaks of affordable housing but does not honor the specialness of Fayette. We can see in their very select insider focus groups they did not include the Lazers or Lightning Soccer Clubs, PTC Little League, Tyrone or Fayette Baseball, PTC Chiefs, Stars Mill. Little Patriot Football, Lacrosse, and the list goes on. As the competitiveness of youth sports continues, mom and dad wont come unless junior can have options. We need more kids to grow.

I submit Dar, that we need to build not take from Kedron as a competitive advantage and leverage it as such. A vision that does not strongly advocate for the youth of our county (besides the arts) is a powerpoint with many high scoring scrabble words and no more.

In the interest of full disclosure, my son swims in our Centennial pool and that's it. He plays baseball and football which I coach. I did play volleyball at Kedron for two seasons.

Sorry to be long

n

Husband and Fat...
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Neil has a great point, but I might add

If we keep improving our top rated schools and continue to grow our youth programs, people will take notice.

Why wasn't Dan Esmond and other youth sports leaders invited to participate in the Vision? Dan and his team run one of the best programs in the state and people do in fact move here for our soccer program. I'm pretty sure other sport, scout, music, and youth leaders could have provided valuable information regarding how to grow our community. But they were never asked or provided a real opportunity.

I understand Dars point. We as a community have yet to fully utilize our facilities as a whole. I am a member of Dars gym and utilize his pool for my health. But I can't use it for my child who is not yet age approved, so I also frequent Kedron all winter to use the pool as part of their therapy. My other kid spends time playing basketball there as well as other activities. I've rented rooms there when my teams have been rained out and want to coach anyway. But, I think that it, along with other city and county Facilites are underutilized.

The vision should see to it that we outgrow our existing facilities, including the arts first. Once that's established, then expand. I can foresee an art center go the same way as Rivers. Build it and they will come is foolish when we have so many options now close by.

dar thompson
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Neil

I actually agree with much of what you say in your response. However, there is unfortunately a fine-line of what the tax-payer should subsidize as well as to what our local government should be responsible for

As the "Aquatic Center" currently operates it is not a benefit to the tax-payer. I agree with you on many of the youth sports as they are a loss-leader to drive interest for new families to move into our community...the "Aquatic Center" (as it sits today is not. The entire complex needs a major upgrade to create value for our citizens.

It's only my opinion but I would put a permanent structure over the pool to make it a true "aquatic center". I would build an ice-rink, replace one of the basketball courts with all turf and install batting cages and make the remaining area a sports specific training center for all athletes of all sports. I would then close-in the current in-line rink (because there is now ice) and make it a in-door soccer complex for training purposes and games as well...darkness and rain no longer an issue.

Kedron needs about 1000 visitors a day to create a synergy and true sports complex that will become a "loss leader" but will then add value to the home-owner/ tax-payer.

I don't disagree with your positioning but the venue needs to be built and operated to it's fullest potential. Under the current presentation and the value that it offers to the city the venue should be closed.

To be clear, I would rather see a viable sports complex that is a benefit to all.

NeilSullivan
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Dar I think we are in the same line of thought

I think Kedron is a starting point but we need to vision out what we need. Your brought up things that I had not though of, but agree.

1 ) Having a true Ice rink this side of town would be unique. Right now I can think of at least a dozen PTC residents traveling north of perimeter for this to play hockey or figure skate and that is within the small circle of people I know. The only think I ask is that we set some time for curling as I have never tried it but it seems cool.

2 ) I agree making the pool indoor and set up real diving. Again this is something no one else has. We already have State champion swimmers in county, What if they had the right tools?

3 ) We should map out how to maximize the uses of such a facility to make it a place for people to come, train play. Like the East Cobb baseball complex. I beleive this is along the line the mayor suggested in her campaign.

The interesting thing is how to fund and how you run it. I will give the new recreation team credit I think they are in the right direction but they are undermanned. something like this would probably need public/private funding and management. But here is the so what in my mind. Something like this, done right, is an asset to the community and something that is special and a draw from across the region which then makes your numbers possible. Outside might be necessary in the beginning but as it grows Fayette gets priority and other gets the rest thus making it a reason to be Fayette.

I while ago, right after the first ESPLOST, I was asked to help get a summit like complex in the next county SPLOST. I thought it was too small and gave ideas but did not do much with it. But a true indoor sports/ aquatic center that may make big.

An arts center like Clayton, Coweta and the Legacy here in Fayette is not special and dilutes the pool of users likely hurting everyone's financials. I am not against the Arts as I do like the Russian composers, but it is that the best use of our dollars with so many resources so close?

n

dar thompson
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Neil

We probably lost 500 white-collar homeowners in the Northwest/Delta merger as the vast majority were from Minnesota where all their kids figure skate and play ice hockey. They all moved to Cobb County. This is the exact demographic of people we are looking for. This demographic has disposable income who will spend money in our restaurants and retail stores.

Understand that the vast number of companies and people who move to PTC are from the mid-west and the northeast. Yes there are many people from PTC and Newnan who drive 60 miles to play ice hockey. I'm not sure what the number is now but as recently as 3 years ago there were over 900 annual participates in the in-line hockey league here in PTC. Did you know that the AAHL (Atlanta Amateur Hockey League) is one of the largest leagues in the country? They are building yet another rink on the north-side of town because the league cannot keep up with the demand.

We cannot do things half-way which unfortunately we are great at. The "Kedron Aquatic Center" need to be a permanent aquatic center, thus a permanent structure and that is just for starters. We need people to see the vision of what this venue could and should become. Make this venue become a statement, so that every realtor brings their potential buyer to this venue to make a statement.

Kedron needs to become a sports complex for all sports training so that it can be of benefit to all. I would build an ice rink and enclose the current inline rink and make it an indoor soccer and lacrosse complex.

Instead of the venue losing money, which for some reason seems to be okay, let's create something special which is of benefit to all those who participate in sports thus further having the potential to offer benefit to all citizens as supply and demand will increase and therefore home values will increase. I am not optimistic as we continue to allow every idea that makes sense simply die.

Simply put a true aquatic center, ice rink, training center (for all sports), an indoor soccer facility, basketball court(s) built with the correct flooring, batting cages, pitching lanes, functional sport specific training areas, would be a home run in this city instead of a venue that has cost the tax-payer(s) over 10 million dollars.

What are we going to do?