PTC adds new road, study funds to SPLOST wish list

With an eye on “flexibility,” the Peachtree City Council voted 3-1 Friday to carve out $500,000 on its special sales tax wish list to study and/or build transportation improvements in the city.

Prior to this change, the project list covered street paving, repair and maintenance of existing cart paths, new cart paths, eight bridge and tunnel projects other bridge and tunnel maintenance. That left no room for smaller construction improvements.

Mayor Don Haddix cast the lone vote against the measure, saying it would take the money away from necessary street maintenance which has $20 million of repairs needed.

Councilwoman Kim Learnard said while that was a reasonable observation, she liked the idea of council having other options to improve traffic flowing through the city. One potential project she mentioned was traffic calming on Peachtree Parkway at Loring Lane; she added that she was amazed that a provision for new transportation improvements wasn’t included on the city’s SPLOST list previously.

“Flexibility is key here,” said Councilman Eric Imker. “If we don’t have it in there, it’s missing an opportunity.”

If the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is approved in November by voters countywide, the city will receive a projected $14.5 million over the two-year life of the levy.

The language approved by council would allow the possibility at least some of the funds could be spent on a corridor study such as has been suggested at previous council meetings for the clogged artery of Ga. Highway 54 west.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch also reported to council that the Georgia Department of Transportation has told the city that traffic on Hwy. 54 West is not bad enough for the project to be on its priority list. Nonetheless, DOT has offered to help the city come up with a scope for a study of the area for future improvements, but the city would have to fund it, Fleisch added.

Fleisch said several DOT officials met with the city recently at the request of council helped brainstorm a number of ideas to investigate on Hwy. 54 west.

“It was a very good meeting with a good exchange of ideas,” Fleisch said. “Everyone felt we were moving in a positive direction.”

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Added Facts

1. Loring Lane was discussed last year and rejected.

2. This is the result of the 54 Corridor Study not being eligible as just a study. As I said on the Dais it has to be part of a project. This is the project.

3. You cannot just use 5% selectively, you have to do the whole project as passed by the voters, nor none of it.

4. Council did not request the meeting. This was the action of an individual making the request. Council is Mayor and Council during a meeting. There was no meeting on this request.

%. This is also the result of GDOT telling Fleisch they would neither do the study or pay or changes.

6. GDOT just closed 2 offices in our GDOT district due to funding shortages. They don't have the money to do a study on a Corridor they do not see warranting action at this time.

As I said during the whole letter to GDOT discussion, this was not going to happen and the Corridor was studied in 2008 and 2009. The next study is in about 5 more years.

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