The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
PTC's 'delima': How to spend tax surplus

Staff Writer

Thanks to an accounting adjustment in the city's favor, Peachtree City officials must decide whether to reduce the millage rate or put a substantial amount of unbudgeted funds into some deserving project.

According to a memo distributed by assistant city manager Joe Morton for Thursday's City Council meeting, the proposed millage rate of 4.06, which has not changed in five years, will produce $161,221 more revenue than what has been budgeted.

Computations by city staff show that the windfall could allow a millage rollback to 3.91 without any adverse financial effects. A rollback to 4.00 would still leave a $96,197 surplus.

A memo from city manager Jim Basinger listed several options for the City Council to consider when discussing the matter tomorrow night. It had previously been recommended that the city set the millage at this meeting so that the county could submit the digest to the state Revenue Department by Oct. 12.

According to Basinger's statement, a rollback to 3.91 mills would equate to an average homeowner tax reduction of $8.99.

Another option listed for consideration was allocating the excess funds to a project in the Public Improvement Program. Possible projects include the restoration of the Shakerag gazebo or the addition of a restroom facility there, expansion of The Gathering Place, restroom and sound platform improvements for the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater, or any of a host of other projects from the 2000 and 2001 PIP.

The money could also be allocated to a reserve fund for future construction of a community center or placed in the Council's contingency fund, Basinger suggested.

In other business, the City Council plans to hear more discussion and further consider a possible traffic impact ordinance or building moratorium in an attempt to alleviate congestion around Ga. highways 54 and 74. About two hours of discussion and citizen input at the Sept. 16 meeting produced no official action.

Also set for consideration is a recommendation from city staff that the city construct a cart path tunnel across the proposed new Line Creek Parkway, to help separate golf carts, pedestrians and vehicle traffic in the area.

It would be connected to the existing cart path system and, according to city staff, provide safe access for residents of Wynnmeade subdivision crossing the parkway.

A cost estimate of $78,000 from McCoy Grading, the contractor for the parkway, is believed to be a reasonable one and would be lower than other contractors due to the fact that the company is already working in the area and would not have to mobilize its equipment. Staff recommends that the city fund the $78,000 out of contingency and execute a “sole source” contract with McCoy Grading for the project.

The City Council plans to once again consider a bid proposal for property/casualty insurance at tomorrow's meeting. Additional requested cost estimates have been submitted, to compare with the original figure of $54,152 in annual premiums for a $25,000 deductible.

The premium cost would fall to an estimated $48,000 with a $50,000 deductible or $42,500 with a $100,000 deductible, according to city staff, which recommends approving the original cost estimate.

According to reports, the city has had good luck since becoming self-insured in 1986. The most expensive claim during that time was in excess of $150,000 for the Palm Beach lawsuit, but the highest claim the past four years has cost the city a relatively low $47,544.

A request for funding of playground equipment at Peachtree City Elementary School is scheduled to be considered by the City Council tomorrow night.

In accordance with the ordinance passed earlier this year, the Recreation Commission has reviewed the project and recommends that $5,000 be provided for it — the maximum amount allowed for a single school under the city's new policy.

This money would be for Phase 1 of a two-phase project, contingent upon the school's PTO providing the remaining funds for the first phase. PTO vice president Jane Langley reported to the Recreation Commission that the organization has $9,500 available in savings and earned more than $5,000 during September's wrapping paper fund-raiser.

Pascal's American Cafe has applied for an alcoholic beverage license for Pascal's Bistro, to be located on Commerce Drive in the space formerly occupied by Agnes and Muriel's, which shut down its Peachtree City operation.

Pascal Lecorre has requested to be appointed as the licensee and license representative, and his application is in order for consideration by the City Council at tomorrow's meeting.

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