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Imker's eye on SPLOST pie

Peachtree City Councilman Eric Imker is hoping to pry more transportation funds from the Fayette County Commission’s share of the county’s now-expired five year sales tax proceeds.

And the rest of the city council agrees.

What drew Imker’s attention to the matter was an agreement this week between the county commission and the City of Fayetteville which has the county spending nearly $500,000 toward a road extension and new traffic light in downtown Fayetteville.

So Imker is hoping for the same treatment but to a larger degree. And he wants to get all of the county’s municipalities on board with the concept as a way to convince the five-member county commission.

“I’m thinking right off the top we could ask for $4.5 million for three years for cart path and road maintenance ... that would do wonders for our budget,” Imker said.

Such a change would require the city and county to re-negotiate the current percentage split of SPLOST proceeds, said City Manager Bernie McMullen.

That’s because city cart path maintenance and resurfacing was not included on the list of projects that would be funded by the county.

The Fayetteville signal and road extension project the county agreed to fund this week was on the county’s project list for funding, McMullen explained.

The city does have several projects on the county’s SPLOST project list that are eligible for county funding including:
• Intersection improvements at Peachtree Parkway and Crosstown Drive, estimated to cost about $1 million;
• Widening of Crosstown Road estimated at $5.6 million;
• A cart path bridge over Ga. Highway 74 north in the Kedron Village area estimated at $1.6 million; and
• A cart path bridge over Ga. Highway 54 West near MacDuff Parkway and Wynnmeade Parkway. The city has about $500,000 in funds already from a state grant program but another $1.1 million is estimated to be needed from the county to complete the project.

McMullen said the Crosstown widening project may very well be scrapped since it was initially planned when the city and county were proceeding with the now-shelved plan to extend TDK Boulevard into Coweta County. If that is the case, it will save a significant amount of money, McMullen said.

The city plans to ask the county to expend about $20,000 to conduct a study to see if traffic on Crosstown warrants a road widening or not, McMullen added.

There was some discussion among council members about whether to approach the county commission now or to wait until after the two newest commissioners are sworn in at the first of the year. The consensus was to start right away with discussions.

Mayor Don Haddix said he would begin discussions with his fellow mayors immediately, adding that he had already spoken to one who was “on board” with the concept of asking the county for further SPLOST funds.

Haddix also alluded to the two new county commissioners who will be sworn into office in January, one of whom is former Peachtree City Mayor Steve Brown who presumably would be sympathetic to the city’s wishes. Brown also has a strong ally in fellow new commissioner Allen McCarty, as the two campaigned together.

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