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PTC set to OK borrowing $9.5 million in stormwater bonds

Property owners’ bills will increase 137 percent to cover new projects

The Peachtree City Council is poised to approve the issuance of $9.48 million in bonds Thursday night to fund several large-scale stormwater projects while also refinancing the 2007 stormwater bonds at a lower interest rate.

To cover the financing payments on the bonds, all city property owners will see an average 137 percent increase in their annual stormwater bills. Because the increase is so significant, the city plans to implement a billing system that will bill residents twice a year instead of once; the rate increase was approved by council Feb. 7.

The increased stormwater bill includes a shifting of the “street surcharge” from the city’s general fund in the amount of $355,000. Because property owners now will be paying that amount as part of their stormwater bill, there was some discussion by council earlier this month of the need to reduce property taxes by a commensurate amount to make sure residents are not double-charged by paying both taxes and fees for the same thing.

Council will vote on the bond issuance measure at its regular meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The city’s capital stormwater plan includes $7.45 million for the capital projects, which range from:

• $1.5 million to line stormwater pipes that run beneath city streets and roads, along with other miscellaneous projects;

• $1.8 million to replace the drain system in the Harbor Loop area;

• $1.3 million to replace the drain system in the Golfview Drive area;

• $1.2 million to rehabilitate the two Kedron ponds;

• $911,000 for rehabilitation of the Rockspray pond;

• $450,000 for pipe lining in the area of Woodsdale and Lenox Road; and

• $120,000 for repairs to the stilling basin at the BCS Pond.

The Kedron and Rockspray ponds are significant because they impound a large amount of stormwater, and if their dams were breached it could result in the loss of life and property downstream, according to city staff.

The city projects these to be the only remaining significant capital projects, with no others anticipated in the future.

The lower interest rate from the refinancing of the 2007 stormwater bonds will save the city about $40,000 per year, according to city staff.

That savings is little solace to city property owners who will face the drastic increase on their stormwater bills.

The city groups homeowners into four tiers for billing purposes. Those in Tier I will see their bill rise from $32.28 to $76.68; Tier II rises from $47.40 to $112.69 and Tier III would rise from $72 to $171.24 a year. The fourth tier, for attached residential (AR) would rise from $22.20 to $52.68 a year.

The same 137 percent increase will be applied to businesses, schools and churches, many of whom will pay far more than the average homeowner because parking lots are included in the calculation of impervious space that ultimately determines the final bill charged to a given parcel.

In other business Thursday, council is expected to approve the brand name, sole source purchase of a new traffic counter system for up to $7,200.

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S. Lindsey's picture

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Live free or die!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Live free or die!

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