Sewer should not be extended outside city’s boundaries

Tue, 10/02/2007 - 3:30pm
By: Letters to the ...

As I continue to walk the neighborhoods of Peachtree City, go to community activities, receive email and speak directly with the citizens, I have been surprised at the number of folks who compliment me and thank me for my courage in running for City Council.

However, I would like to compliment the residents that I have met. Everyone has been willing to express their perspective on the many issues facing our city. They have engaged in thoughtful dialogue about my positions and solutions. It is this exchange of ideas where a true representative of the people will form the rationale for constructing voting positions and providing solutions. I pledge to continue to visit the neighborhoods and listen to the concerns of the citizens after being elected. If I have not knocked on your door yet and you want to share your perspective with me or ask me to detail my position please e-mail me at

Two of the major concerns that I have heard are the proposed sewer extension and the protection of the cart path system. I would like to detail my positions on both below.

I am against considering the extension of sewer outside the city boundaries. Without consideration of where we are extending it, I believe that the extra capacity should be reserved for areas of our city still on septic and future industrial needs. The entire Huddleston Road area is still on septic and has been identified by the Planning Department as an area of concern for the future. We have the new Chinese company and the empty Photocircuits property that will need some of the current excess capacity when that property is utilized again. We need to make sure we have true excess before considering any expansion beyond the city boundaries. Secondly, the extension of sewer beyond our borders will bring additional development and its accompanying traffic which without our sewer will have to be fully supported and planned for by the appropriate government. Further clarifying my position I believe that we as a city do not need to provide public services (such as sewer) that could encourage growth and development on our borders unless there is a substantial verified benefit to the city. Combining these two arguments I am firmly against considering the extension of sewer capacity beyond our boundaries in the manner suggested by WASA.

Another major issue which invariably is raised is the future of the cart path system. I have been hearing three major complaints – litter and graffiti on the paths, safety on the paths, and maintenance of the paths. As I have considered citizen input I have formed the beginnings of a program to address all of these major complaints. I am proposing a clean, safe and courteous cart path program. This program will bring together the public safety, public works, and public relations groups at City Hall to ensure our path system remain one of the jewels of our city. Highlights of this program will include a graffiti eradication program, litter control, a long-term maintenance plan, a focus on maintaining the safety of and for all path users, and a user education component on all of the above as well as on use and procedures for path usage. Certainly many elements of this proposal are already in place as separate activities but a more comprehensive approach will increase the success of each individual component. This approach to the program should allow the city to more efficiently utilize existing resources to accomplish the goals of the program. Personally the increasing graffiti and increasing crime on the cart paths is my impetus for proposing this program. I do not envision any additional cost and personnel needed for this program at this time.

Certainly these are not the only two issues on the minds of voters this fall. I have been impressed with the concern that everyone has for the future of our city. Surprisingly, I have not heard anyone try to convince me that the city is on the right path to maintain and enhance our character over the next 20 years. Therefore, it is time for voters to elect leadership with vision that will put the city back on track to be the unique city it was intended to be instead of the current "just like any other suburb" direction. We must go beyond saying no or stopping everything and start bringing solutions and a vision that will grow the unique character of Peachtree City instead of destroying it.

I will bring this type of principled, service-oriented, citizen-responsive leadership to the City Council. I hope to earn your vote in November.

Thomas J. O'Toole, Jr.

Candidate, Peachtree City Council, Post 1

login to post comments