PTC borrows $3 million for facility fixes

Low bond interest rate helps city increase scope of work

Peachtree City will be hitting the bond market to raise $3 million for a host of critical improvement projects at city facilities.

The city is using a facilities authority to issue the bonds on its behalf.

In addition to the $3 million for improvements to city facilities and assets, council decided to refinance two other loans totaling $2.6 million.

The loan refinancing will save the city a projected $148,000, officials said.

The city will be on the hook for repaying the bonds, with the debt service for the bonds and refinancing estimated to cost $634,000 a year over a 10 year period.

Among the $3 million in projects is some $454,000 set aside to replace the bubble that is erected over the Kedron pools for the offseason and $405,000 in repairs to several city fire stations.

Also covered are repairs at ballfield restrooms, replacement of the surface at the All Children’s Playground, tennis court repairs and more.

Another project includes $100,000 for repairs to the cast house at the city’s amphitheater. Also on the plan is $500,000 to expand the parking lot at the city’s Baseball and Soccer Complex to its full capacity.

City staff also expects to add more projects to the list in coming weeks, officials said.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch, who chairs the city’s facilities authority that is being used to secure the low-interest financing, noted that the bond will pay for capital improvements only, and not for any operating expenses or routine maintenance.

The $3 million bond is expected to have a closing date near the end of October with a very favorable 2.31 percent interest rate.

City Finance Director Paul Salvatore said the low interest rate allowed the city to expand its original budget of $2.1 million to $3 million, all the while staying in the initial range of payments for the 10-year bond.

Councilman Eric Imker asked why the city was no longer pursuing financing through the bricks and mortar lease-purchase program. He was told that the city has reached the limits of that program, which requires the use of “essential government facilities” to be pledged.

“We are running out of a capacity of properties to pledge of that nature,” Salvatore said.

The $2.6 million in refinanced projects includes the remaining $1.88 million in principal from a bricks and mortar loan from 2007 and the remaining $746,000 in principal from an energy performance contract which resulted in energy-saving fixtures being installed in city buildings to save on utility costs.

Citizen_Steve
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Out of step

These expenditures are out of step with the city’s direction of moving from a family friendly community toward a heavily policed retirement community.

But maybe that's a good sign that the direction could change.

Steve

justacitizen
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Please wake up

I have been to many city facilitates in the last year. They were fine we need not borrow the money. JUST STOP THE SPENDING. I also have to add. What is with the re-build of the intersection of Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway . I have been driving through this intersection for 25 years!! (the lights use to work great, but no longer) What did that cost? And why?

justacitizen
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Please wake up

I have been to many city facilitates in the last year. They were fine we need not borrow the money. JUST STOP THE SPENDING. I also have to add. What is with the re-build of the intersection of Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway . I have been driving through this intersection for 25 years!! (the lights use to work great, but no longer) What did that cost? And why?

moelarrycurly
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justacitizen

You might call city hall and ask for the list of over 250 (and counting) items of repair/replacement that has been gathered so far. More will be added.

Get the PTC Updates newsletter set up to go in your email while you are talking with them. It will explain the GADOT changes that 54/PT Pkwy is going thru, plus the added mess of a sidewalk being added going into the WalNOTGreens from the newly added pedestrian crossing lights.

Why? Just because they can and Obama said here,let me print more money for idiotic projects like this and let me make sure our bozo legislators in DC pass laws that have no common sense in the real world. That's why. We feel your pain.

Be sure to let WalNOTgreens know of your displeasure when they open by boycotting them, too.

justacitizen
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hey larry curly and moe where did shimp go?

You are so right. I need to do that and I need to show up at council meetings. I need to pay more attention. I need go read the minutes of the meetings. I need not be justacitizen. Thanks

Mike King
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Reaching The Limit On The City's Credit Card

"Councilman Eric Imker asked why the city was no longer pursuing financing through the bricks and mortar lease-purchase program. He was told that the city has reached the limits of that program, which requires the use of “essential government facilities” to be pledged."

Borrowing to reduce interests rates is one thing, but borrowing to pay for operating expenses just tells me Council has not the fortitude(votes) to make the cuts required to operate within their means.

Quite similar to our US Congress, wouldn't you say?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: History Book Moment

Mike and I agree on one. As well I agree with Morgan here.

I have stated I love the idea of refinancing to save money but I fear this approach with the Facilities Authority will prompt more spending that we do not need. As well it encourages not doing the cutting of spending we must do for the future.

I plead guilty here to voting for the Bubble. My reasons were to first replace that foundation since I knew there was a solid 3 vote to do the Bubble. Not replacing that foundation really raised the future costs of that facility. Second I had found something that might have proven more cost effective, but was not ready to move on it and had to be on the winning side to do a reconsideration vote.

It didn't work out. So no better idea, sadly.

As well I have proposed increased Rec fees more than once since Rec is a non critical service. It is an amenity, used by choice. That was greeted with silence or criticism.

I also proposed more public/private, like the Tennis Center. That moved it from the red to the black. That was a 1.5 year battle to get done. That was rejected.

Draining the Reserves rapidly, increasing taxes and claiming the economy is turning around I do not support. We are going to have to cut to make income equal spending.

You want that to happen then elect two who think that way as well.

Mike King
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History Book, My Foot...

Approximately three years ago I offered a shared solution to reducing the city's debt while addressing the pressing needs of the city, and you mayor discarded it as out of hand. You are simply chiming in here because you believe it politically expedient to cast dispersion towards Mr Imker. While Imker and I disagree on spending issues, I will laud his efforts to cut the fat and streamline a budget process that is either beyond your grasp or simply not one of your priorities.

Without his effort the interest paid by the city on YOUR and previous debt would be higher than it is currently. I simply object to borrowing money at the local level to cover operating expenses that you haven't objected to until now. With the city's debt approaching $20M how do you propose paying for the additional $3M?

Speaking of the upcoming election, have you endorsed you pal Dienhart as yet?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Facts

Mike, as said by others, first learn what the facts are.

Fact is our City Attorney brought the Facilities Authority to the City Manager who presented it to Council, not Imker or anyone else on Council.

Fact is Staff compiled the financing list and did the bond work, not Imker or anyone else on Council. It is still ongoing.

Fact is Imker proposed about $1.3 million in new spending between the Bubble and Gathering Place. I opposed them until it became obvious the Bubble was going to be funded per my notes above.

Fact is we cannot and do not borrow money for operating expenses. It is capital expenses only.

Fact is I opposed and voted against the 1.25 and Sturbaum and I did offer alternatives, which were rejected. The alternatives included cuts.

Yes, your ideas were slash Safety and all city pay and benefits deeply. Non starters after already having cut pay and benefits.

I don't even know George Dienhart, never have met him.

That is my one and only reply to you. Mainly.

Bye.

Mike King
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Mayor

Fact is: You are allowing staff to switch funding from operating expenses to capital expenditures so as to maintain their so called 'lean' status.

"I opposed them until it became obvious the Bubble was going to be funded per my notes above." This one sentence speaks volumes about your lack of political will.

You are incorrect on slashing safety, my cuts were to be across the board evenly with an equal amount taken from reserves and the same amount coming from a millage increase.

Face another fact, Donnie, with Doug not running you may walk out anytime on Council and come January it will not matter.

borntorun
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Donnie & Dienhart

So Donnie says he doesn't know Dienhart, huh? Maybe he does....maybe he doesn't. I have no idea but I'm sure the truth will come out in due time. I will say this...Mike King was right about Mrs. Donnie's conversation with Joey Grisham when Donnie denied that being true. So at this point, I'm going with Mike on this one until proved otherwise. Kinda makes political sense too that Donnie would recruit someone to run for Doogie's seat since he is toast as far as being re-elected. Bad enough being on the short end of so many 3-2 votes.....being on the short end of 4-1 votes would render Donnie pretty much a sorry footnote in PTC's history.

NUK_1
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Candidate Dienhart

Since he is running for Sturbaum's seat(don't know if Doug is running for re-election or not yet) and says he's endorsed by Randy Gaddo, I don't see any way that he's a supporter of Don Haddix whatsoever and it would be the exact opposite.

Maybe you folks know something I don't about some Haddix-Dienhart connection, but if there was one, why would he be running for a seat either held by Haddix's only ally or is vacant when he could run against Haddix archenemy Imker? I also know Gaddo couldn't stand Haddix long before the latest fiasco where his position was eliminated. That's a sentiment shared by a lot of city staff for that matter, though they aren't all in love with Imker either.

GeorgeDienhart
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I don't know Haddix

I would encourage Mike to read some of what I wrote at TIPC, I was critical of the mayor. One PTC resident even took one of my columns into the Mayors office to back him up in his complaints. The only people I'm running to help are the people of Peachtree City. I will be an independent voice, and a councilman that is looking out for your best interests, not the Mayors and not the "Gang of 3's". I also answer my email, so I would encourage anyone that has any questions to come to the source, as opposed to just believing conjecture. Thanks, and I look forward to interacting with all of you.

borntorun
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Taking You At Your Word, Mr. Dienhart

As I said, I don't know whether or not you are politically connected to Donnie but if you say you aren't, then I will take you at your word that you are not, sir. Thanks for agreeing to jump into the local political fray and hopefully bring some common sense and class to our Council. God knows we need some! I look forward to hearing your positions on the issues facing our great city.

Ninja Guy
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Mr. Mayor, What About

the blogger that reported that the city had nearly 200 vehicles? Is that even close to being a fact?

Thanks,

Braves Take on the Baby Bears Tonight!

Spyglass
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Why come on here and argue with Citizens?

Why do you insist in doing this?

Robert W. Morgan
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Because he can. Power does that to you.

Little dickweeds like Donnie have to be out in front with their opinions and for sure he is. I do believe he thinks this kind of stuff will get him reelected or even (how improbably) getting Dougie S. reelected.

Why, why, why can't we do better than this?

Busy Bee
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User Fees

Has there been any consideration of raising the cost of golf cart registration? Our golf cart path system is integral to the lifestyle in Peachtree City and we need to make sure it is properly maintained. Unfortunately that is expensive. If we raised the fee from $12 per five years to $12 per year that would be a fivefold increase in the user fee and would still be fairly inexpensive. The city could offer a lower rate for senior citizens if you are worried about seniors loosing a mode of transportation due to the cost increase. And this way, the users of the system will be paying for more of the cost of the system.

justacitizen
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Busy Bee

At first I was going to rip you a new one for suggesting a new tax. I then thought about it. I love My G ride and the path system. I would be willing to pay more fees under this condition. The fees I pay are used only for maintenance of the cart system, not the general fund, nothing other than the cart paths. I would agree to that.Having said that I do not believe that would ever happen so no new registration fees.

moelarrycurly
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Golf cart fees

busy bee, let me put my 2 cents in here. Now that the state has classified carts as a type of vehicle, you need to be aware that there is consideration being given to requiring state registration of carts, just as other vehicles. Not sure of the form that will be, but it will automatically generate user fees to all cart owners. The city will, hopefully, get some of that revenue to include cart registrations in law enforcement databases so our pd can actually have access to ownership when an incident occurs, something they do not have now in any efficient manner.

As with all govt. oversight, it will require more equipment on carts than now, maybe grandfathering in existing carts, but when you replace a cart, the cost will be much higher due to the newly required equipment. This will possibly allow carts to cross state highways when all is in place, thus possibly lessening the demand for new paths to be added to the existing network. So, I recommend not asking for any fees at this time. Also, the burden of the path maint., should not be placed solely on cart owners. We have many, many others using the paths, from inside and outside PTC. This should be a budgeted expense, just as roads and other infrastructure. Or, as in the past, some local SPLOST money, which is a sore subject for many right now. Just my 2 cents worth.

roundabout
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I fully agree MIKE

All of those repairs "needed" right now should have had either reserves to accomplish them, or set-asides due to depreciation.

They didn't have the money to set-aside due to NOT cutting expenses.

So, we have to pay the interest for 10 years. Which means we again won't have the money to set aside due to paying the bonds for ten years---and don't forget the dear old Tennis Center loan from "the bank."

Do you know council's philosophy on this Mike? Are they determined to keep all of the head count in the biggest accounts in spite of the reduction in the population and the reductions in the assets' values?

Isn't this going to lead to city bankruptcy eventually or a huge cut suddenly leaving PTC in the condition of other bankrupt cities?

The federal government borrowing money due to a depression and spending is one thing due to wars, citizen services, unemployment, and citizen health, but a city doesn't have those worries.

Do we need some volunteer cops and firemen? Maybe some office contract work? Maybe swim in cold water in the winter!

Our growth days inside the city are about over. We will be lucky to hold steady since most kids grow up and leave this city.

Are there any thinkers on the council about all this? If their were, would most of our citizens back them? (probably not, I'm afraid).

ptctaxpayer
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....and among the top

....and among the top projects--- a half million dollar plastic bubble for what is essentially a private swim club. I think that's called "nice".

Robert W. Morgan
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Increase user fees

If we have to replace the bubble - and I'm not convinced this is essential - then hit the people that actually use the thing with higher fees. Then at least those that use it pay for it . Kinda like the sewer rate increase, except this would be spread across fewer people. Very few.

ptctaxpayer
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Huh ??? If it ain't essential

Huh ??? If it ain't essential don't do it. Your idea is that the City should be a bank to finance a luxury item, Dead Man. So they double or triple the user rates. By the time they collect enough to pay the bubble off it will be worn out and need replacement. Government mentality !

roundabout
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Morgan, PTCtaxpayer

We have a lot of the "bubble" type expenses that few use.

The famous Tennis Center; The Amphitheater; the Airport; Cart Bridges; Infrastructure that is not supported by yearly budget but by loans (Fire and Police Stations, Library, Vehicles.)

However, what we don't have are facilities that nearly everyone uses except for our teenagers and youth, who have nothing except several cow pastures for games in the sun.

We can't even swim, boat, or have any fish to catch in the lakes. They are our drinking water.

So, what I an saying is that "User" fees are nothing but taxes, which is cash, which many do not have much of right now or ever for some.

"User fees," are for Country Clubs, not for the average citizen.

ptctaxpayer
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Roundie $

Roundie $ I oftentimes agree with you but not on this one.

Your logic can best be exemplified by the quote that was used to defend Phil Rizzuto's nomination in to the baseball Hall of Fame, justified because, after all Pee Wee Reese was admitted. The quote--- "Two wrongs do not make a right."

roundabout
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PTCTAXPAYER

Not clear what you mean!

I actually saw Reese and Rizzuto play baseball.
They played "Billie Ball." (Somewhat like the two new ones the Braves have).

Don't see the comparison with user fees.

When we show the poor that we have money for expensive fun, and they have none at all, they may rise up and kill us.

You can't lay candy down in front of a baby and not expect them to use it unless they pay for it.

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