Voters will decide whether or not to build facilities

Thu, 07/26/2007 - 3:12pm
By: The Citizen

Astroturf fields, Gathering Place expansion would cost $1.12 million a year

Peachtree City voters will get to decide in November whether or not the city should build an expansion of the city’s Gathering Place and/or two astroturf multi-purpose sports fields.

The projects would be financed over a 10-year period, saving just over $1 million in interest payments compared to a 15-year financing plan. The Peachtree City Council voted 4-1 to place the items on the ballots, with Councilwoman Judi-ann Rutherford the only dissenting vote.

Rutherford contended that the council should first determine whether the projects were necessary instead of merely punting the decision to the voters. But Mayor Harold Logsdon said he thought council had decided the projects couldn’t be funded in the city’s regular budget, though Rutherford pointed out there had been no official vote in that regard.

The sports fields would be used for the city’s soccer and football programs, the latter of which would be relocated from Riley Field in north Peachtree City. Because the fields would have a drainage system, they could be played on sooner after a rainstorm than a regular turf field, city officials have said.

The Gathering Place expansion, at more than 11,000 square feet, would allow the facility to be used as a community center instead of just a senior citizen’s center, noted City Leisure Services Director Randy Gaddo.

The sports fields would cost $4.04 million including bond closing costs and the Gathering Place expansion would cost $2.88 million including the bond closing costs. Under the 10-year financing, the soccer complex payments will be $554,000 a year and maintenance will cost another $29,000 a year.

The Gathering Place expansion will cost $373,000 a year and cost another $196,000 to operate and maintain.

Broken down further, the sports fields will cost an extra $11.45 in taxes for each $100,000 of a home’s assessed value, and the Gathering Place will cost $11.78 for each $100,000 of a home’s assessed value.

The operations cost for the Gathering Place is largely due to the need to hire additional personnel to keep the facility open on the weekend and in the evenings. Currently, the recreation department is suggesting to have it open from Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-7 p.m.

Doing that will take an additional full-time supervisor, a full-time building maintenance technician, two part time customer service positions and two part-time building maintenance technicians. Already the facility has a full-time coordinator and two part-time customer service staffers.

login to post comments