PTC tax increase among budget items being considered

Tue, 02/03/2009 - 4:38pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City City Manager Bernie McMullen will propose a number of other areas to cut as the city tries to whittle down an anticipated $3.5 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year’s budget.

McMullen is also proposing a millage rate increase “to bring ongoing revenue in line with ongoing expenses.”

“It is expected that without some level of millage rate increase, service levels will need to be cut significantly,” McMullen wrote.

The cuts will be discussed at Thursday’s City Council meeting, but no vote is expected on the matter, McMullen said in the memo.

McMullen has already proposed eliminating 23 landscaping, mowing and utility positions in the city’s public works and recreation departments for an anticipated savings of $840,000.

In a memo to the City Council, McMullen is also suggesting the reduction of staffing levels in the building department (no number of positions was listed), eliminating pay raises (for a $700,000 savings) and doubling employee healthcare contributions effective March 1 ($120,000 in savings).

The building department change would take effect in the next 30 to 60 days, McMullen wrote, noting that compared to 2003, single family building permits dropped from 258 to 47 last year, and commercial building permits have dropped from 42 to 20 in the same time period.

McMullen is also suggesting the city charge police and fire employees who live outside the city limits and take home city vehicles. This would add nearly $26,000 which would “offset part of the expenses” of vehicles taken outside the city.

Other proposals include:

• Eliminating all paid leave benefits to all regular part-time positions including annual leave, sick leave, safety hours, and holiday time (estimated savings: $45,000). Regular part-time employees earn four hours per holiday and vacation time at half the rate of regular full-time employees. The majority of these employees are at the library. Non-regular part-time firefighters would continue to get eight hours pay for any city holiday worked.

• Closing the Clover Reach and Pebblepocket pools (estimated savings $57,000). A private contractor has asked to continue using both pools for lessons “and a willingness to share expenses,” McMullen said, noting that option would be presented to City Council by its March 19 meeting.

• Possibly outsourcing the Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center (unknown savings). Several private individuals have said they can operate the facility at a considerable savings to the city, McMullen said, so a request for information and qualifications will be developed by city staff to determine if qualified firms are interested and how they would operate the complex. The goal would be to have a contract in place before the start of the 2010 fiscal year.

• Possibly consolidating the recreation and public works maintenance crews under public works (unknown savings).

• Restructuring cardboard recycling managed by the city (approximately $24,000 in savings). City staff and Keep Peachtree City Beautiful are working to find a vendor that will haul it away at no cost. If not, the service would be eliminated and residents could drop theirs off at the county transfer station or local solid waste haulers that also accept recyclables.

At the conclusion of his memo, McMullen said staff is continuing to examine all other areas of the budget for potential savings.

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Submitted by jiro on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 4:04pm.

Can you tell us what personality traits you look for when hiring PTC firemen? How are they screened etc?

They seem to spend a lot of time eating around PTC demonstrating less than professional and personal respect. For example, January 28th they were having a good old time on tax payer dollars at the Taco Mac in PTC.

If you are looking to cut the budget start with credit reports and police records of your PTC firemen- career and volunteer.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 4:09pm.

How do you know it was on tax payer dollars? And do you not want them to eat?

Submitted by mikeamoretti on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 12:16pm.

In the article there are a few line items regarding closing and or outsourcing aquatic facilities. there have also been an ongoing discussion about sports facilities and the like. A Planned community in Florida had what I thought was an excellent strategic plan in that they created a mega sports facility with all entities combined. Then also leased space to Karate studio's, After School learning programs, concessions, etc etc. Yes everyone must drive a bit to get there but in the long run with membership, tutoring, babysitting etc fees it was a huge moneymaker for the city. All the local gyms etc will be upset by this but they have an equal chance to lease space just like anyone else. One final thought, the motivation for writing this was actually the wish that Peachtree City Dive Center could benefit a great deal from the larger aquatic facilities and promoting health and well being.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 9:46pm.

When the city mgr. says "bring ongoing revenue in line with ongoing expenses" does he really think the mayor will understand? YEAH RIGHT!!!

The mayor would rather sell the library than keep his expenses in line.

Vote Republican

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