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PTC slammed for losing Low Temp and 165 jobs

A letter to the editor in today’s paper criticizes the Peachtree City Council for defunding the city’s development authority and not taking steps to enhance the recruitment of new large-scale industry and businesses here.

Peachtree City resident Stephen Allen pointed out that Low Temp, a company that recently pulled out of negotiations to relocate here from Jonesboro, has cited the inability to provide sewer to the site at no cost, along with confusion over fees, buffers and schedules between the county, the city and the planning commission.

Low Temp proposed bringing 165 jobs here but balked at paying $51,000 in sewer tap-in fees and paying its share of a $300,000 cost to expand city sewer to its property line.

Council members Vanessa Fleisch and Kim Learnard both said they hope to avoid the confusion of the latter by bringing on an economic development coordinator for the city. Councilman Eric Imker, who joined Fleisch and Learnard in voting to defund DAPC did not return a phone call seeking comment by press time Tuesday. Councilman Doug Sturbaum and Mayor Don Haddix voted against the economic development coordinator position and against the defunding of DAPC.

The EDC position “would serve as a central point of contact to interface not only with outside entities but also within our departments,” Learnard said. That also includes meeting with the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and all village centers and other retailers to help with marketing efforts, she added.

Fleisch said the Low Temp negotiation was a good example of why the city needed to streamline its process down to having just one point of contact to help deal with potential major employers.

“I think it’s all going to work and we’re all going to be happy with the results,” Fleisch said.

The economic development coordinator will be in charge of preparing a budget for the city’s economic development activities. It also has been said the coordinator will also work hand in hand with DAPC’s initiatives.

Learnard also said one of the EDC’s tasks will be to write grant proposals for the city.

Allen’s letter to the editor was also critical of the “surprise” move to completely remove the $35,000 in funding slated for the development authority of Peachtree City from the city’s budget.

Fleisch pointed out that DAPC has about $20,000 in reserves it can use, and she also anticipates the City Council funding several initiatives for local merchants leading up to the holiday shopping season, after which time the city hopes to have filled the economic development coordinator position.

Fleisch added that her main concern was that DAPC, which had sought a budget increase from $35,000 to $150,000, would become an “alternative bureaucracy.”

Learnard said she didn’t think it was “necessarily true” that the DAPC defunding was a surprise, but with the economy being down council had to look at the budget critically with justifications for expenditures.

“Every possibility was explored. I think Eric made the point that no stone was left unturned,” Learnard said.

Allen’s letter questioned whether council members bothered to meet with DAPC members or any of the businesses it serves before voting to defund the authority.

Fleisch said she had spoken with authority members and also attended each DAPC meeting last year, though she didn’t seek out retailers who were benefitting from DAPC’s organizational efforts.

Learnard said she met one-on-one with DAPC Chairman Mark Hollums to learn about future projects and get additional information. Beyond that, council’s main communication with DAPC was through Mayor Don Haddix, who was council’s liaison with DAPC, Learnard said.



Sorry Don... You have a council that has a couple of dolts on it. DAPC and FCDA have been trying for YEARS to get some new industry... It's called Corporate Taxes Pay For Infrastructure...

Gotta have the funding and tax incentives for DAPC to get them here in the first place to even consider PTC. This last go around leaves us with a nice, uncooperative black eye. I seem to remember that ALL DAPC MEETINGS are open... and that Council is always a welcome guest. You, Don, have been most instrumental since your initial election to Council. Let's get the rest of Council on board.


Mike King's picture

You are correct on one point, the couple of dolts being Haddix/Sturbaum. Had Emperor Don worked with the three objectioning Council members and not been so resolute that it was either his way or the highway, Low Temps would be in the process of moving to PTC.

The confusion came about due primarily to Emperor Don promising things he simply could not produce. Was it not our Mayor who stated that he had dealings with the owners of Low Temps for a number of years?

DAPC does require funding, and it needs to be independent so as to propose to Council what it takes for a company to relocate here. To have a sitting mayor with no business acumen initiate negotiations with a prospective business is doomed from the start.

Should you have doubt, ask yourself why Low Temps decided against the move after being denied sewer hook ups.

secret squirrel's picture


I don't see where Low Temp was denied sewer hook ups. I do, however, see where Low Temp didn't want to pay their fair share of sewer hook ups. To wit: "[Low Temp] balked at paying $51,000 in sewer tap-in fees and paying its share of a $300,000 cost to expand city sewer to its property line."

The benefits of Low Temp coming to PTC notwithstanding, asking for a "pass" on infrastructure costs translates to shifting the burden onto the PTC taxpayers to foot the bill for them. Frankly, they can take their operation to Jonesboro- they're obviously too good for us and think they're above paying their fair share.

We don't need those jobs anyway. I mean, the unemployment rate is hovering around 9%...who needs to bring jobs and tax revenue to the community.

Sometimes it is necessary to give a little, up front, to gain in the long run. The tax revenue from Low Temp over the years would have made up for the initial investment in the sewer expansion. Who doesn't get that?

Business is a give and take proposition. It can never be an All Win for one side and ALL lose for the other. Otherwise, no new business would care to even consider coming here. Just like the DAPC funding and the new Coordinator position--you get what you pay for. There are Admin assistants that are paid more than $50k.....what a joke.

We all know the whole story on Low Temp never made it to the paper because it never does. PTC and FCDA should be ashamed for not working more closely on this project and making something happen. Maybe its time for a new FCDA board and a sweep of the council to get someone's attention. Can we afford to lose another Low Temp or even worse, what happens when current jobs start leaving the area? Council was too busy worrying about who was in charge at DAPC and Fayette County Dev. Authority had their feelings hurt that PTC was getting the credit for gaining a new business venture and jobs for the area. Great move guys ... seems now they have moved on!

While the city is working on hiring a "coordinator," who is going to be working to woo Sany's suppliers and others. NCR's expansion is likely to bring the need for some support companies, as well. This hiring process will likely take a minimum of 6, maybe 8 weeks. Not to mention, the new coordinator will need some time to be brought up to speed about our community. By then, the offers will be on the table from Coweta...just saying.

"Should you have doubt, ask yourself why Low Temps decided against the move after being denied sewer hook ups."

Just <strong>another lie from Mike King</strong>.

Low Temp wasn't <strong>denied a sewer hook-up</strong>! Please Sean, try to understand your constant lying is not looking good for you.

Low Temp choose NOT to pay $50,000+ for PTC to accept their offer.

When are you going to stop typing crap you know is a lie?

Mike King, the <strong>consistent LOOSER</strong>!

Mike King's picture

Seeing that my posts cause anxiety and loss of sleep, please remain prepared to keep your panties in a wad. It is good that you're not blogging on city time though.

Are you prepared to state that Emperor Don didn't make promises he couldn't keep? Of course not, for he like perhaps yourself have proven to be abject failures in corporate America. Low Temps was prepared to make an $8M investment (Mr Casey's letter), and possibly the hook up fee was only the straw that broke the camel's back. This we'll likely not know due to the Emperor's standard of open government.

Get some sleep!

PTC Observer's picture

Why don't you run for something?

Anything in PTC would do.

Mike King's picture

Some three years ago I made a promise to my spouse that I would not run again for public office.

PTC Observer's picture

I didn't know you had run for anything. The fact that you actually did says loads about you and your character. Now if we could get others to follow your example and get some citizen participation in our government we would all be better off.

Don't give up the ship.

Nixon: "you won;t have Nixon to kick around anymore" before he ran the next time!

Mrs. George Bush: " I will help you run again if you promise I don't have to make any speeches."
She made scores. She now is on the road (Atlanta) getting paid to speak generalized non-sense! Along with Terry Bradshaw! And some other "Gurus."

No one says " I will run again in a few years if I can!" Sudden death.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Mike, are you implying that bad_ptc is a city employee? Blogging under a hidden identity? Surely that is a violation of some city rule. Sounds much more serious than dogs running off-leash around gas-powered golf carts. Let's find out who it is and fix it.

Live free or die!

I didn't know Mike was consistently "loose."
Maybe on Friday night.

If don would get doug's finger out of his nose and think for himself much more could get done.

I live in this area and was thankful this company decided to pull out. This is not a smart decision to put any business near schools and a daycare facility. Why not make it open space and expand the baseball soccer fields already located near the property.

You either told them or you didn't. You're starting to sound like Bill Clinton.

<a href="">A must read article.</a>

Councilwoman Learnard, you have my full support on this!

<em>"And while many of the concessions would have been absorbed by Fayette County taxpayers as a whole, the Peachtree City annexed location meant Peachtree City sewer customers would have had to shoulder the costs of the sewer concessions, which would have necessitated a rate increase."</em>

<em><strong>" The cost benefit model presented an 80-year payback – much too long to make financial sense. (In prosperous times, a 7-year payback was considered excellent.) County officials ultimately declined the project."</em></strong>

What say you Mr. Mayor?

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