PTC cost committee focuses on survey

A group of citizens studying Peachtree City expenditures is inching closer to preparing a survey to help determine what citizens’ priorities are in terms of spending for certain city services.

The Needs Assessment Committee will meet Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at City Hall as they work on finalizing their survey plan.

The committee has been compiling a variety of financial information for residents to consider on the survey, but the question at the previous committee meeting was how much detail to provide. The theory is that too much detail will cause the survey to be lengthy and thus might turn away potential respondents.

Some of the discussion was also on how the financial data is broken down on the survey. The initial thought was to separate parks and recreation spending in its own category, breaking it away from the community services department, largely because residents won’t know on their own that recreation services are funded by the community services department budget.

Several committee members argued that presenting the parks and rec data separate from community services might confuse residents who do understand the services are provided by the community services department, which also consists of planning and zoning and the city’s building department.

The committee has also broken down the funds spent on facilities improvements from the $3 million facility authority bond so residents can see which departments saw the most funding, which was earmarked mostly for repairs and upgrades of existing facilities. Some of the facilities had fallen into significant disrepair including tennis courts, but one significant project is a redesign of the former recreation administration building so it can be used as a second facility for senior citizen activities.

The bond was also used to pay for the bubble enclosure that is erected over the Kedron pools each fall so the facility may be used year-round.

Still undecided was whether the survey would be printed or solely available online. The benefit of an online survey is that unlike a written survey, the online version won’t take time to code the answers by hand.

Several committee members met last week with a local retired statistics professor and will report his survey recommendations back to the committee Thursday. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in council chambers at City Hall.