54W corridor study gets $70K from PTC Council

City Manager Jim Pennington (L) said the corridor study would be good for the city in the long run. City Clerk Betsy Tyler is in the right background. Photo/John Munford.

A $70,000 corridor study to gauge future improvements for traffic-choked Ga. Highway 54 West was approved Thursday night on a 3-2 vote of the Peachtree City Council.

Councilman Eric Imker strenuously objected to the study, saying it was too expensive and that the city should wait and see the benefit of a traffic signal timing improvement project that should be operational by April.

Imker also noted that the West Village annexation tracts that will include the extension of MacDuff Parkway are likely to be developed soon, another reason the city should wait. City Manager Jim Pennington said those developers are “ready to move” and argued that’s a big reason the city should undertake the corridor study.

The results will provide data to support Hwy. 54 improvements so they can be “put on the books” for future funding by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Regional Commission, noted City Engineer David Borkowski.

“We think it’s money well-spent,” Borkowski said. “... We will have something in our hands to go to DOT and ARC for future grant funding for projects.”

Councilman Mike King joined Imker in voting against the corridor study. King said he was skeptical the study would be able to solve any of the problems, particularly because of the road’s status as a main east-west route for commuters.

“Is the study actually going to help us?” King asked, noting that while the traffic is bad on Hwy. 54 West, it’s nowhere near as bad as traffic on the north side of metro Atlanta. “Is it really worth the $70,000, that’s what I have to ask myself.”

DOT officials have told the city previously that if it wanted improvements for Hwy. 54 West, the city would have to fund the traffic study. As such, DOT has been working with city officials to prepare the scope of the study so it will provide potential solutions for improving traffic flow in the future.

DOT would not commit funds to the study because traffic along Hwy. 54 West isn’t bad enough to show up on the agency’s radar, officials have said.

NeilSullivan
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Dar - Kedron Question

Hi Mr. Thompson

I do think you are on to something about pay to play with county and FCBOE components. Regardless of revenue we need to not allow use by non PTC people unless as a guest of resident of PTC if the county gives us zero. Then allow the county to "buy in" otherwise no pool for you. As far as FCBOE, the booster teams can buy in for their teams.

I fundementally disagree with your conclusions about Kedron not being a component of PTC's traditional cradle to grave recreation culture. Yes, we can go to pay to play for only those who use them but then should we:

Require permits even for walkers on the paths to make those who use them pay for them?

You have been silent on the gathering place, should we not require that to break even or close under your mandate?

Given the shift toward technology could we not get rid of the money we waste on the library? How many residents use it?

You have mentioned that an additional $40-50 could make the baseball fields pay for themselves. Now to the owner of World Gyms yes its only $40. To many little league families $40 is an amount of money.

I understand your point and mine above are (mostly) demonstrative but to cut one sector's benefit without considering the whole of the budget makes little sense.

Take Care,

Neil

dar thompson
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Neil

Thank you for your intelligent and sincere response and questions.

I think everyone would agree that we all (right or wrong) have our own points of view but I feel that there are some things that are absolute.

Regarding your first position, we absolutely agree in regards to High School swim teams (BOE)contributing to the cost of the pool and only allowing PTC residents and their guest the usage of the pool.

I understand your positioning regarding Peachtree City and recreation but at a $700,000 loss that's a hard pill to swallow. Where do we draw the line? An Ice Rink would cost less and draw in more people from other parts of the country to actually move to PTC and make it their home. Most everybody that moves here is from the northeast or mid-west. PTC would have the only Ice Rink within 60 miles any direction. However, I assure you the citizens would not allow such a venue because of cost...even though it would be a loss-leader for our community and create a higher demographic (higher home values)for our community.

I cannot speak directly in regards to the "gathering place" as I have not done much research for that amenity. I do think the remodel was way to expensive...why not modify a portion of Kedron. As for the library, there are some things that are inherently needed to create a perceived value. The library is used by all the different demographics of our citizens for a multiple of reasons. It's hard to put a price on an educational component. Why are we taking the arts and music out of our schools? What a mistake!

My reference to the baseball cost is simple...it's only $5.00 more per month, per participant. If we are going to run off people for $5.00 per month than people are living above their means (which I don't believe to be the case). I'm not saying recreation tax dollars should not subsidize cost but there has to be responsibility on both sides. It's the old adage of "supply and demand".

This goes back to my previous position...if you think the $40.00 is going to be the deciding factor if someone plays baseball or not, I can assure you they are not spending money in our stores or restaurants.

Ultimately, the question comes down to...do you want to be special and live "in the bubble" or not. If you do then it may cost just a few dollars more. However, you will get it ten-fold in the "quality of life" and home values.

It's really just a matter of what kind of citizens do you want to attract and what kind of a city do you want to be. If you want better, you have to pay for better. When are we going to learn that it's not the governments responsibility to give you what you want just because you want it. There has to be a benefit by adding value to the entire city/citizens who pay for the amenity.

Right or wrong that is my position. Neil, I appreciate the back-n-forth.

moelarrycurly
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Well, seems with no Racetrac or Chick fil A going

in there, traffic predictions might ease up a bit. That clay cliff, though, looks like it just might collapse at any time.

Spyglass
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Huh?

You have some word that this has fallen through? How lucky could we get? No Racetrac to junk up the area if true. They run shoddy operations compared to Quiktrip.

Husband and Fat...
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Gas Stations / convenience stores

I really like Sheetz and Wawa. Both have good sandwiches when your on the road and looking for one stop. Wish one was down this way.

moelarrycurly
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Spy

An eat mor chikn person at the 54 store can 'splain it. I get gas from SAMs and at times from Kroger.

Spyglass
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I will ax them...

I frequent that location and have been telling them I wouldn't go to the store if it moved west.

I use Sams too, but wish they would build a Costco somewhere between here and Newnan...Sometimes the Kroger pumps are just too chaotic.

moelarrycurly
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chaos

Yup, thus the Sam's visit most times. Worth the travel to avoid the ugly mud roundabout view and the masses getting gas(ses)....haha..

pumpkin
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Ha Ha Ha Ha

it just gets more laughs thank you.

dkinser
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Traffic Study vs Pay Raise

Hmm...just thinking out loud, but had the 5 that voted for their own pay raise voted to donate that increase towards this traffic study, then it would only cost $34,000.00 versus the $70,000.00. But then again, most of them agree they really don't need the money. That said, I guess the taxpayers don't either.

NUK_1
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UGH....70K for THIS?

What a waste of money. Not always a fan of Imker, but totally agree with him here as well as Mike King.

This is throwing away 70K, imo.

MYTMITE
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I agree---

This is a waste of money that could be put to better use in other areas. For once I agree with Imker.

dar thompson
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Really!

A waste...it's only about 45 days worth of the cost of the Kedron Aquatic Center.

The outcome of the study will affect most, if not all of the citizens of PTC, the study could even save lives...while the Kedron pool affects about the 2% of PTC citizen's who actually use it.

Sorry but your financial arguments simply make no sense.

SPQR
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Dar

Time to take down the (non code)now open World Gym signs at Lexington Park on Hwy 54 and Finance ave and Walt Banks Rd. Congrats on getting that place put up so fast.

dar thompson
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Thanks for the Compliment

The new gym has been a huge success thus far. Hopefully the Lexington area will start to capture additional retail, which would be an asset to the city in the form of additional fees and tax revenues.

MYTMITE
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Dar. Dar, Dar

Doh, Doh Doh-------

Maybe you could talk the council into closing the Kedron pool for 45 days to pay for the study. That way at least you would be happy for 45 days and we would be happy because maybe then your point of reference for everything would not be the Kendron Aquatic Center---but I doubt it.

P. S. Just 'pushing' your leg--no need to give me a lecture on why this could not be done and how we could save by closing pool for ever and---------

dar thompson
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Unbelievable!

You just don't get it...it has nothing to do with the pool...it's the issue of wasting the taxpayer(s)dollar! What don't you understand?

I've said if the BOE and the County would help subsidize this venue then we can have a completely different conversation.

As I've stated before...you really can't give much merit to someone who isn't willing to sign their own name to back up their own comments. Just doesn't hold much water...if you know what I mean.

wheeljc
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Just a Quick Question --

Where was Councilman Eric Imker's 'strenuous objection' to his pay raise?

PTC Observer
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Wheeljc - No

No is the answer to your question.

Regarding the traffic study, I don't really understand why a delay to decide whether to spend our money was not reasonable. What's the rush? After the study is complete nothing will happen for years anyway.

As to Mr. Thompson's comments on the Kedron center, in my opinion it should be sold to the highest bidder and allowed to go private for those that want to pay for it. My guess is that it would quickly go out of business due to low demand and high membership fees. Maybe some of the money from the sale could be used to fund the traffic study.