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Bond to repair, replace PTC infrastructure

At the Blue Smoke recreation area, one of two tennis courts sits unplayable due to problems with the surface that have left standing water in a significantly-sized puddle the day after a rainstorm.

The back entrance to the city’s library has remained cordoned off as engineers work on a repair to prevent the exterior brick surface from falling off; apparently it wasn’t fastened to the wall during construction.

The “cast house” at the city’s amphitheater is in need of major work; other tennis courts are showing their age as is much of the city’s infrastructure.

The surface at the All Children’s Playground also needs replacement. Restrooms at several ballfields need repair. And so on.

The costs are adding up. But they are being weighed against the cost of leaving the work undone, potentially to leave visitors and residents with a less than favorable impression of the city.

And that’s why the Peachtree City Council is looking at issuing what is estimated to be about $3 million in bonds: to address the aging infrastructure. Fix what needs to be fixed. Replace what needs to be replaced.

In the next month or so city staff will have completed an exhaustive list of necessary repairs for the City Council to consider. Some council members have said the city’s infrastructure has been neglected for so long, it can’t afford to do so any longer.

The $3 million figure includes some $454,000 to replace the bubble that’s erected over the Kedron pools for the offseason, along with an expansion of the parking lot at the city’s Baseball and Soccer Complex, tabbed at $500,000.

It also includes smaller-cost items down to missing outlet covers, broken baby change stations and a drawer that needs repairing at the front desk of the city’s library.
“People should be reassured that we are taking the necessary steps to maintain our infrastructure,” said Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch.

At a $3 million level, the city will be paying about $393,000 a year for 10 years to fund the necessary repairs and replacements, city officials have said. Those calculations were made with a 5 percent interest rate, but the city is likely to get a better deal, driving the cost down somewhat, officials said.

The city is not proposing a tax increase to cover the bond payments for this year.



Mike King's picture

....Infrastructure repair/replacement costs at $3M, and the total in the city's emergency fund exceeds $9M could someone at city hall tell me why we're borrowing money?

Perhaps a million in a one time millage rate hike, a million reserve funds and a million in payroll reduction and the repairs are made, the city does not have to repay the loan for ten years. Should Council decide to maintain the rate increase they could use it to repay debts like Steve Brown's land purchase for his bridge to nowhere.

No one's saying not to address the decaying infrastructure, but why is it always about borrowing more? Now, should there be no reserve funds and someone's been misrepresenting the city, then it would be time to address another type decay.

Mike, as a conservative like me, you believe there are lessons to be learned by looking at private enterprise for solutions to running a better city.

So Mike, take a look at the balance sheets of the world's most successful companies, such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Cisco, GE, McDonald's, etc. With only a rare exception, all carry substantial debt, regardless of their profitability. Why? Because it increases their flexibility, allows them to invest efficiently, and enables them to utilize all of their resources effectively.

Yet you would prefer that PTC - one of the most successful cities anywhere - eschew a more than reasonable debt issue by cutting services (that's what happens when you reduce payroll and use short term cash flow for long term issues) and cutting cash reserves. You think this would strengthen the city somehow, when in reality, it will accomplish exactly the opposite.

Money is very cheap right now; why not take advantage? Debt, used properly and wisely, is a good thing, and these bonds are a very reasonable solution to solving some long term problems while making certain city services remain high - a key to keeping this city vibrant and successful.

I know, you think there are too many cops running around. Well, many of us don't agree. Heck, I'll take a car patrolling my neighborhood all the time.

I want my kids to want to live in PTC 30 years from now; that will not happen if we don't keep services high, maintain and improve our infrastructure, and spend a little money.

Mike King's picture

What I would like to see is for PTC to address the $17M+ debt it currently carries to the point that it does not exceed the amount accumulated in its reserve fund which currently is around $9M. My point being that at every turn borrowing is always the first(and likely only) option chosen.

The companies you mention carry debt because they can increase their bottom line, local governments carry debt to cover largess. Do you really believe that those we have running this town can consistently use debt both properly and wisely? They haven't previously.

We obviously disagree if you believe that a reduction of some 4% is going to cause a long term detriment to our quality of life. This summer I have witnessed more napping patrols than I have witnessed patrolling my neighborhood.

We both want the same amenities for our kids later on should they decide to reside in our town. Raising the cost of living here is not the answer, in my opinion.

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