PTC Senior Center expansion costs are reasonable, considering benefits

Tue, 10/23/2007 - 4:19pm
By: Letters to the ...

The Gathering Place Community Center: A facility for all Peachtree City citizens

Over the past several weeks, I have read several opinions regarding the total dollar amount requested via general obligation bonds to be used to finance The Gathering Place Community Center expansion. In order to attain an accurate understanding of what is included this figure, one must go beyond simply calculating a square footage cost.

In addition to the cost of the structure, embedded in the total cost estimate are:

• Site preparation and paving for 83 parking places.

• A fully equipped facility to include a caterer friendly kitchen, exercise equipment, computer lab and state of art audio/visual equipment.

• Staffing for evenings and weekends.

• A contingency factor for unforeseen expenses.

• Bond issuance fees.

Please bear in mind, the above figures are based on a conceptual design — detailed plans will be drawn up by the architect who wins the bid. Also, by law, if all the bond money is not needed to cover the costs of the project, the balance will be used to retire the bonds early.

As a homeowner, I too am concerned about the additional $12-$36 annual tax the expansion will cost over the next 10 years.

However, I believe we will receive a fair return on our investment in that The Gathering Place Community Center will be available for use during daylight hours and evenings, seven days a week the year around.

Since most of us who currently use the present facility are retired, our activities are primarily during the weekdays, a perfect complement with the social and professional activities that will be held in the evenings and weekends by those Peachtree City citizens who are still working.

The expanded Gathering Place Community Center will become a multipurpose facility capable of serving the civic and social needs of all Peachtree City citizens.

With larger, expandable meeting rooms, state of the art audio-visual equipment and a kitchen designed to support catered meals, the facility will be suitable for athletic banquets, anniversary parties, and professional seminars.

The facility will become a first class community center we can all be proud of. For more information, please refer to: > Active Adults 55 and over > Gathering Place.

Jim Schirm, chairman

Peachtree City Senior Adult Council

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by intheknow on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 6:42pm.

In November in Peachtree City there will be two bond items to vote on, one for the Gathering Place expansion and another for the Sports Complex. Everyone around here seems to complain continually about tax increases, in the past, talk of increases of $20 a year to add police and fire personnel have resulted in much hoopla. The above letter references an increase of $12 - $35 a year for the Gathering Place expansion (if voters approve), and how much will the Sports Complex add if it also is approved. I'll venture to guess the high end on both, possibly as much as $30 - $35 each depending on your assessed value, for a average total of maybe $60 -$70 a year for both if passed. Now, thats just to pay for the bonds for the next how many years, do you really think that is going to cover all the associated annual maintenance, upkeep and personnel costs - I don't think so. In the end, PTC taxpayers may find up to $60 - $80 or more a year added on their taxes if both these items are approved by voters. All for what, the Bridge Club that meets at the Gathering Place and regularly complains of lack of room, and the local kids football and soccer programs that want state of the art facilities to play in. Think of these potential increases before going to the polls, as it will have a major impact on your taxes for many years to come, and will only benefit a couple special interest groups.

Submitted by intheknow on Wed, 10/24/2007 - 10:16am.

I personally have no problem with tax increases for worthy causes. I have posted before that taxes here in Fayette & Peachtree City are nothing. Where I moved from almost 20 years ago, I was paying well over $5k a year on a 975 sq.ft. ranch, valued at the time at around $120k. For the services residents get here, they really pay nothing in taxes.
My point was that in the past, any mention of even minor tax increases to bolster police and fire department staffing, has been met with much criticism. Yet we may end up paying a considerable amount, which if both pass a potential up to 20% increase of the city portion of PTC residents tax bill. Again, this with past proposals of minimal increases of only a couple percent for Public Safety staffing increases, typically meeting vocal resident opposition.
Again, these two bond items are for special interest groups, like the sports teams whom admit to having half their participants from outside Peachtree City. And the senior complex, with my source (parents) stating it's primarily the Bridge Club that complains about a lack of space, as the things they (parents) go to, there is always more than enough space, and they consider it a taxpayer waste to expand the currant facilities.
Just my opinion, with several facts.

Submitted by Nitpickers on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 8:53pm.

You are typical current generation! Do not think ahead!

This much or more is added every year, and for up to forty years!

Have you ever looked at the budget for the total paid on Bonds every year?

What is $80 times 40 years? What if you invested it at 5% yourself?
Maybe the town can put it on their credit card!

Is your house paid for yet? Put the $80 there!

Pay for what we build every year in cash we have saved!

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