Reader takes exception to story about Gathering Place costs, uses

Your newspaper ran an article in this weekend’s edition entitled “$850K price tag put on expanding Gathering Place for bridge games.” I was at the City Council meeting that was discussed in that article and I did not hear some of what Mr. Munford reported.

I have talked to several others who were also at the meeting and they agree with me.

First of all, no one has fixed the amount discussed at that figure – it is a work in progress. Randy Gaddo, director of Leisure Services, presented rough estimates of various options for ways to increase the amount of room at the senior adult recreational facility, the Gathering Place.

The council is working very hard to achieve fiscal stability for Peachtree City. They are considering placing the expansion of the Gathering Place on a questionnaire that will be presented to the residents in January.

They are exploring every possibility and no one has come up with a final dollar figure. Increasing rental time over program time was also discussed as an option to increase revenue.

Your article makes it sound as if Councilwoman Fleisch is strongly in favor of increasing rental time but when I spoke to her on Saturday she said that she did not recall saying that. She too, is exploring all options.

And finally, your reference to the bridge games as the only activity there is unforgivable. There are a number of excellent bridge groups that meet both in the Gathering Place and in the Annex next door, but they are a far cry from the only groups and individuals that come there.

The Annex is part of the Amphitheater office that the city has kindly allowed the members at the Gathering Place to use because there are times when there is not enough space in the Gathering Place to hold the people who want to attend.

I am a member of an arthritis exercise class that meets regularly, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. in the large room at the Gathering Place – except on the first Friday of the month when we meet in the Annex because the blood drive is in what is otherwise our space.

We are very crowded in the Annex but we are making do. There are other groups: Tai Chi exercise, Music Alive, Mom’s Time Out, Parkinson’s Support Group, and various card groups that meet in the Annex for various reasons, all of which come back to the fact that there are many more senior adults attending events at the Gathering Place than there are room for.

The Gathering Place is a facility in Peachtree City in which senior adults can meet and be involved in many and varied programs provided by the city. The senior adult population is increasing and the city council and recreation department are investigating ways to meet their need – they are not trying to blow a lot of money on card games.

Bonnie Mullikin

Peachtree City, Ga.

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