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WASA may cave on sewer extension power

GM asks if council would agree to back bonds for $500K savings if PTC keeps sewer veto power; on Thursday council agenda

The Peachtree City Council will consider a request from the city’s Water and Sewer Authority to back a bond refinancing that will save an additional $500,000 via the city’s outstanding credit rating.

Although the authority initially considered going on its own for the financing in a bid to gain control over future sewer expansion outside the city limits, there is a sign the authority might be willing to budge. Without the city, the refinancing will save as much as $1.3 million, but with the city’s help the savings inflates to $1.8 million.

Also, the city backing would prevent the authority from having to set aside a $1.8 million debt service reserve fund with cash it currently has available.

According to a memo circulated to the City Council, WASA General Manager Stephen Hogan has asked if council would be willing to back the bonds if WASA maintained the same bond covenants that are currently in place, which give council the power to veto any proposed extension of sewer service outside of the city limits.

WASA members have expressed concern about several potential revenue-enhancing expansions that would use available sewage treatment capacity to provide service to two different areas in unincorporated Coweta County in recent years. Both overtures were rebuffed by council over worries that the sewer access would lead to more dense development in Coweta.

Hogan has said there are no existing proposals before WASA to extend the sewer system outside of the city, but having the capability would give the authority better standing among bond evaluators.

In the memo, City Manager Jim Pennington indicated he needed direction from council on the matter. The matter was added to the council agenda Wednesday afternoon.

Another add to the agenda is an update from city staff on the status of various facilities bond projects. The bond was approved earlier this year to repair, rehabilitate and sometimes replace worn down city facilities, many of which are under the auspices of the recreation department.

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