PTC Council, say NO to WASA grab

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

I read with interest the article in The Citizen about the desire of the WASA board to become the final word in approving sewer service outside the city limits.

It is a bad idea!

As some of you know, I own a tract of land on Highway 54 slightly outside the city limits that could potentially benefit greatly from such a change: however, the change is not in the best interest of the citizens of Peachtree City.

The sewer system was paid for by the taxpayers of PTC, owned by the citizens of Peachtree City and the ultimate control of future expansion should be in the hands of elected officials who are accountable at the ballot box.

Permitting such a change, which will be an irreversible action, will trigger a lot of high density development across the Coweta County line that is not necessarily in the best interest of those who who will pay for the roads and infrastructure on this side of Line Creek.

I hope you won’t let this “Power Play” get beyond first base.

Scott Bradshaw

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Bradshaw is a former member of the Peachtree City Development Authority and an occasional Citizen columnist.]

Steve Brown
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Joined: 12/02/2009
Scott Bradshaw is dead-on about WASA

It is time to start acting on this matter and put the sewer under the control of people we can fire in the voting booth rather than a group with almost no accountability.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Steve

Got to say it, you are doing it again, Steve. That is making assumptions that are invalid and trying to tell PTC how and what to do.

Instead of saying it is time to start, publicly, you could have emailed me and asked if we were doing anything. The answer would have been yes, and not just starting now.

WASA has been a long standing issue. It didn't begin just yesterday.

Remember, you could have done something during your term as Mayor.

Mike King
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Joined: 11/29/2006
Mr Bradshaw

For some reason our mayor has gone on record stating that WASA paid for the sewer system, and that they currently own it. That being said, having known you for the past few years I know you to be an individual of both integrity and honesty. The mayor on the other hand, well let's just say that he is consistent in coming up short in character traits.

It may very well be a mess, but it's our mess. I agree with you that giving appointed WASA individuals blanket authority without responsible oversight is a train wreck in the making.

Robert W. Morgan
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Joined: 10/26/2005
Well, Mike (and Scott and Steve). No so fast with the veto.

First of all, I agree that the decision to extend the sewer lines outside the city should not be left to unaccountable appointed officials. I am proposing that the current elected officials make those decisions now - before we get a specific project proposal and have to scramble around like we always do because we are unprepared.

I have been trying elsewhere on the pages to have a dialog with Mayor Haddix on this subject and I'm not doing too well. He has trouble processing complex ideas and likes to attack past officials for their decisions. Of course he shares your views on just saying no. I guess the 4 of you are going to start getting together for coffee meetings every week.

But seriously, think this through. There is only so much capacity in the sewer system. The 200 foot rule where landowners can demand a hookup is contingent upon us having sewer capacity and is subject to whatever hookup and tap fees are set by WASA. So then, the alarmist statement that unlimited or unbridled development will take place right outside our borders is simply not possible because we only have a certain amount of capacity and no one can force us to add additional capacity to the system - no one at all. Can't be done.

With all that in mind, why not take proactive steps to assign the excess capacity that we do have to specific parcels of land inside and even outside the city that all agree are beneficial to the city. That way the excess capacity is reserved ahead of time for parcels and projects we want and most importantly at the density we have assigned to that particular parcel of land. Marking this up on the Land Use Plan is the easiest way to do this. Once you do this, all capacity is reserved, there is no more available and the answer to anyone asking for an extension of the sewer lines beyond what is in the Land Use Plan is No Can Do. And of course any future politician that suggests changing the Land Use Plan is dead meat.

Now some of the property we may want to serve might be outside the city and that would require annexation and zoning and that is fine - if the guidelines stated above are followed. You do know that not all annexation is bad - mostly it is, but not all. In fact we have an annexation on the west side that will use up some of the excess capacity. Should be easy to calculate. I think it is better to do some planning now so that when the business of building new houses comes back in 5 or 6 years, we will be ready for it.

The beauty of this idea is that current elected officials are making all the decisions right now with strong staff back-up and they can exert their control and power now and have it enforced by the Land Use Plan for years to come. Of course any future annexation would have to go through the normal process at that time, but it would either be on the Land Use Plan with a specific amount of sewer capacity reserved, which makes it easy to approve OR it wouldn't be and there would not be any sewer capacity reserved in which case it can't even be considered.

Of course as an alternative, we can do nothing except veto WASA's idea to save money on refinancing the bonds and city council will have some additional power that they can't use for 5 or 6 years and that power comes at a very expensive cost to our taxpayers.

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