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PTC Council to debate pushing for MacDuff extension for 2012 regional vote

The Peachtree City Council will discuss Thursday whether it sees a need to fight for regional funding of the MacDuff Parkway extension.

The road would provide a western bypass of sorts around the traffic-choked intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74. It has been on the drawing board a while and two developers have committed to building the road.

However, with the housing market in trouble across the country, little work has been done on the road.

The MacDuff extension remained off the latest list of regional transportation projects for Fayette County that are part of the proposed 10-county, 10-year sales tax that would fund such projects in all of metro Atlanta.

The project’s estimated cost is in excess of $7.2 million. By comparison, Fayette County sales taxpayers are expected to put in some $190 million over the 10 years of the levy if it is approved by voters regionwide.

The matter will be discussed at council’s Thursday night meeting at City Hall, which starts at 7 p.m.

There have been some rumblings that Peachtree City officials are unhappy with a lack of city projects on that list. Peachtree City commuters will, however, see a potential significant benefit in a project just north of the county line in Fairburn to re-do the interchange between Ga. Highway 74 and Interstate 85.

Peachtree City also has two significant cart path projects on the regional list for homes in the southern part of the city, with one path going to the city’s industrial park, including Cooper Lighting and SANY America, and the other going northward to Crosstown Road.

Unfunded, however, is the “gateway” cart path bridge that would span Ga. Highway 54 West at the intersection of MacDuff Parkway, joining a path along MacDuff with the Shoppes at the Village Piazza shopping center and also the Line Creek Nature Area.

The list of projects has not yet been finalized, but that action will take place by Oct. 15. The list is controlled by the 21-member Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable, which includes two Fayette County representatives: Fayette County Commission Chairman (and former Peachtree City Mayor) Herb Frady, and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele.

Early on, Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix was one of the two representatives, but he was removed by a majority vote of the mayors of Fayette’s municipalities after he began advocating against the sales tax and arguing that Fayette should leave the metro Atlanta regional area in favor of the more rural Three Rivers Regional Commission, which includes Coweta and Spalding counties.

Haddix later was criticized by his own council members for not even investigating to see if the Three Rivers Regional Commission would accept Fayette County.

In other business Thursday night, council is expected to:

• Consider a sign variance for Sany America. The company’s wall sign is approximately 660 square feet, but the city ordinance allows it to be a maximum size of 150 square feet, city staff said in a pre-meeting memo to council. Council also will consider renaming Cooper Loop, the main access road to Sany’s campus, to Sany Boulevard;

• Consider increasing the refundable security deposit for rentals at the Gathering Place from $100 to $300 to cover additional cleanup and repair damage. Also, city staff is recommending that at any rental event where beer and/or wine is served, that a paid member of city staff be present. That person would cost the event host a minimum of $80;

• Consider a $317,000 budget submitted by the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau. The CVB is expected to end the current year with a surplus of $76,821; and

• Consider a rear setback variance for a residence at 213 Morgan’s Turn in the Hunter’s Glen subdivision.

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Comments

Don Haddix's picture

What is not said is that we could potentially have MacDuff on the final list, no guarantee. As well we have to give up one of the two mentioned paths and use $800,000.00 of our $10 million Local Use 15% portion to pay for the balance of MacDuff. The 85% would only cover $6.4 million of the $7.2 million.

So, we end up with $7.6 million from the 85% and $10 million Local Use, of which we would have to use $800K to finish MacDuff, an 85% project. $60 million in and $17.6 million back.

The rest of the local 85% goes to the Fayetteville area. Tyrone gets nothing as does the west unincorporated County.

The 74/85 project is not a Fayette project. Even if the PTC portion covered all $22.5 million of the currently projected cost the $40.1 million total is still far short of the $60 million we are putting in.

Any way you try to deal with this we are donor city.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

As previously argued, Fayette County would be deemed an urban county. Again, the US Census Bureau definition fits by populous (>100,000 and commuting interchange). As support, the 2000 ARC planning tool/report (report for 2010 would be several years away since it is based upon census data), based upon US Census data as well as accepted statistical calculations shows that only 30 -39% of the home based work trips are within Fayette County. The 39% is based upon US Census data calculations while the GM (Gravity Model) and the OD survey (origin destination – actual survey conducted) are essentially complex statistical calculations. For better or worse, over 50% of the home based work trips are outside Fayette in the major Atlanta counties (not shown but can be identified), supporting the position that significant portion of Fayette commutes and would be an urban donor county for workforce. This tool/document was approved by the ARC in 2007 and received a conformity determination by the US DOT and US EPA.

From data table:

HBW Trips From Fayette County to Fayette County
2000 Census 16,977 or 39.1%
GM 20,029 or 30.0%
OD Survey 21,415 or 32.0%

The 33,000 number you have referenced could very well be a more recent estimate and there would be little reason to suppose the percentages would vary of significance. So, Mr Haddix, if you intend to refute the data and have an intelligent debate on urban classification and commuting, I would ask that you supply credible sources to validate your unsubstantiated claims ("expert" does not qualify).

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