Ice rink plan or big fee hikes for Kedron Fieldhouse?

Tue, 05/19/2009 - 3:04pm
By: John Munford

A possible outsourcing of Peachtree City’s Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center will be discussed Thursday night by the City Council.

Another option on the table is a plan from the facility’s current staff for multiple changes that would reduce annual expenses at the pool by $300,000, roughly one-third of the facility’s operating expenses.

About $100,000 of the savings will come from fee increases, according to the staff members’ proposal.

Officials budgeted $936,000 to operate the facility this year with five full-time and 11 part-time staffers.

The city has received information from two other entities that would consider operating the facility. Georgia Sports League is proposing to oversee the fieldhouse, which includes meeting rooms and a multi-purpose gym, while having another company manage the pool.

Dar Thompson, who owns several local health clubs, has offered a similar proposal, but he wants the city to build an ice rink addition to the facility which could cost between $1.5 and $2 million. Thompson said he is willing to “personally guarantee the cost of the addition.”

Thompson, in a letter to the city, argues that the gym is drastically underused for basketball while a ice rink could host hockey tournaments and figure skating competitions to bring tourism money into the city.

Georgia Sports League, in contrast, wants to keep the gym and increase revenue by offering more programming at the facility.

In a separate item on the agenda, city recreation staff is asking the council to increase pool usage fees that would result in a revenue gain of $98,000 a year. The fee changes wouldn’t be implemented until Sept. 1 because the current fees have already been advertised in the city’s recreation program catalog.

The changes would increase daily pool admission $1 for each age category. Children 0-2 would still be free; ages 3-11 would go from $3 to $4; ages 12-64 would go from $4 to $5 and ages 65 and up would go from $2 to $3.

Kedron staff are also proposing to change the pool pass program by selling them quarterly instead of twice a year. They would reduce the pool pass fee slightly but because the fee is assessed quarterly there will be an estimated $28,000 in additional income from this change.

Another $55,000 in estimated new income would be realized by increasing fees assessed to swim teams that use the Kedron pool, officials said. The fee changes were customized based on the amount of time each team uses the pool, officials said.

The Southern Crescent Aquatic Team would see its fee go from the current $5 to $32 a swimmer. High school teams also would pay $32 a swimmer, up from $3. Masters program swimmers would be raised from $5 each to $18 each and the city’s Pirates summer program team would pay $5 per county resident and $10 per out of county resident.

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matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 4:49pm.

Can't we take the existing indoor hockey building and make it an ice rink seasonaly just like at big sports arenas?

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 11:59am.

I think an ice rink would be a really nice addition for our town. If you feel strongly that it would be a good business investment I think you should find a location, apply for a business license and put your shingle out just like everyone else. I don't understant why you are so hard-up to get us (the tax payer) to pay for it. We already voted and said no, now its time for you to go away.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 11:35pm.

Good point Matt. The majority of the people did vote against this proposal. What part of no don't you get Dar?

Now go, and get your OWN loan for this great profitable buisness idea.

Submitted by jackyldo on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:16am.

if you build me an ice rink ? Truly magnanimous gesture.

It is an asset now and if one uses business judgment it can be a break even asset/amenity to the community..
Charge reasonable fees for use and schedule activities for times when people can use them.

Then advertise what is available and when, so all the people in the city know.

Dar if your so sure an ice rink is viable build it yourself and you can reap all the benefits.
By the way the NHL may contract and drop teams in Florida, Phoenix, Atlanta and Nashville -- so don't count on the Thrashers running clinics or practicing there.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 6:07am.

Someone on the City Council is pushing the ice rink concept behind the scenes, and I cannot figure out why.

At a time when we a shuttering assets such as the library, why would anyone even dream of building new ones? Not to mention the fact that an ice rink would just as expensive, probably more, than the aquatics center to operate.

Mayor Logsdon, a lame duck, now wants to hack the city apart so that he can say he finally had a balance budget on the way out. The best thing he could do at this juncture is leave it alone and let the next crew work it out.

Logsdon/Plunkett/Boone began their tenure with the best fund balances in the history of the city. Had they shown some restraint and followed some disciplined fiscal policies early on, we would not have been talking about this mess.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 8:54am.

If someone is pushing the rink, it is not Sturbaum or me. We are examining all the proposals for which best continues, even expands, services.

In the past there was resistance to running amenities and the city in general more efficiently. But with the economic down turn and build out, where those one time development fees and other incomes associated with filling up vacant land are mostly gone and the infrastructure and service costs are catching up to us, there is no option but to get more efficient or do huge tax increases.

On the Kedron issue we have the long term agreement with the County of fee levels hurting us. For only $150,000 a year County residents have equal cost access with PTC taxpayers to our Rec facilities. The fee structure in general alone shifted the bulk of the operations cost onto all the taxpayers, the majority of whom do not even use the facility. There is capacity to offer more services and generate more income that has not been used. By Rec Staff's own determination they have said they are overstaffed by 8 employees. All of which totaled $701,000 of a $940,000 budget being tax financed, which even Staff's own initial proposals trims $300,000 off while looking at expanded services.

The Rec budget exceeded Fire or Safety because scrutiny had been on them, not Rec. We are down on fire stations and police needs, but Rec was somehow untouchable.

The Fred needed fixed and after a lot of pushing seems to be heading in a much better direct. The Tennis Center, by its own managements statements said they where being held back from offering full services and operating more efficiently, an issue also in work.

Rec is great and a huge part of PTC. But there is no excuse for being so inefficient and we cannot fiscally endure an anything goes at any cost to the taxpayer mindset.

It will take a new Council to address many issues fully, across the board. When I have to fight to get easily seen problems addressed something is very, very wrong.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 1:47pm.

Of course it couldn't be Haddix or Sturbaum! It must be the evil trifecta.
How pitiful has it become that you take a softball setup from the former Steve "King of the Media" Brown about some unfounded conspiracy at city hall to give Dar an ice rink and turn it into another in a long string of NOT ME or DOUG posts.
And Steve-O, don't you think phrases like "Shuttering" the library is a bit strong when it is really a slight reduction in hours.
Other than that, yet another great informative Campaign ad for Haddix for Mayor.

Submitted by MrBeef on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 9:14am.

I don't believe it was shown that Kedron is overstaffed by 8 employees. For that matter, the Fieldhouse is not overstaffed, you are looking at cutting staff and haveing others take up that work, of course more work = same pay. Oh yeah, just be glad you have a job.

This country is doing great, people are losing their jobs and those that remain in a job are forced to do more work for no more pay.

It's time to get rid of management and keep those that are actually doing work.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 9:35am.

I could not have said it better!

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 2:18pm.

ready to walk away from? I'm not impressed with the direction they are taking us.

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 3:17pm.

However, that being said, isn't an asset, by its very nature something that makes money or is worth more than it COSTS???

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 4:21pm.

Take away our amenities, and what do you have left? There is a HUGE reason that this City has been popular through the years...and it's not because we have no amenities.

One definition of asset, taken directly from the dictionary..

"a useful and desirable thing or quality"

Submitted by Dondol on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 3:48pm.

Run properly the Kedron Field house is an Asset to the city, but run the way Otis and company have run it, it has become a liability. This needs to be changed!

Obama's weapon of Choice!

DarkMadam's picture
Submitted by DarkMadam on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 5:00pm.

I guess some misses it.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 7:10pm.

I don't think all the "amenities" have to make a profit to make them beneficial to PTC.

And if someone can tell me what the current Council is doing different than those in the past in regards to "running" Kedron Aquatic Center, then the above point may be valid. To this day, I've yet to see it explained.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 5:42am.

Dar Thompson, surfer boy from California has this unhealthy fixation on an ice rink. I think it is because he grew up in California and didn't experience winter. I vote we allocate $2,000 from the city's budget to send him on a nice long vacation (in winter of course) to Minnesota or Wisconsin or upstate New York - a month should do it. Then maybe we can get some peace and quiet.


Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 5:11am.

Even though it would really be easy this time with the light turnout and no one notable running. The Scott Bradshaw rumor is sadly not true.

If you were here in the '70's and maybe the '80's you'll remember the southside's only ice rink at Shenadoah in that underground solar building. Didn't work out too well. Of course a lot more Yankees have moved down here since then, but I'm betting not many are dreaming of ice (or snow).

Submitted by dar thompson on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 7:38am.

Robert, once again, you don't have your facts straight. Just a FYI, I grew up in this area and we (my family) were members at flat creek in the 70's.

Let's review, under this plan we save the tax-payer's over 4 million dollars in the next 10 years, increase the value of a city owned asset, increase economic impact, increase home values, increase quality of life, and we become even more unique by having the only ice on the south-side of atlanta...and your still not happy.

Looking forward to seeing your name on a ballot.

Submitted by MrBeef on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 9:17am.

Just like Haddix, i'm not sure where you get your information. You really need to check your sources.

You state that Kedron uses the basketball courts about three months out of the year for adult basketball.

You couldn't be MORE wrong. Kedron runs leagues year round. There is a Summer and a Winter Basketball league and a Spring and Fall Volleyball league. On top of that, PTC Youth basketball uses the courts from November to February.

There is very little time the courts are not in use, leaving very little open gym time.

If ANYTHING, we could use an expansion for an additional basketball court.

Submitted by dar thompson on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 10:11am.

As you have stated, the PTC youth basketball uses this facility ONLY 3 MONTHS out of the year. There are plenty of other courts to use in this community. The problem simply is that the adult programs don't seem to cover the cost of the facility. So my question is, why have basketball courts that lose money when there are many other options (courts) throughout the county? If these were the only courts we would be having an entirely different converstaion.

In my proposal to the city I offered 3 options 1). no basketball courts, 2). 1 basketball court, or 3). 2 basketball courts. this will be their choice, not mine.

On the last ballot, there was a bond to build a sports complex. The complex included 4 basketball courts. Ironically, I could not get anyone in any of the basketball programs to support the bond. As a matter of fact I know many of those involved directly with the baskeball programs in PTC voted against the bond...many said more courts weren't important to them. So you may want to address that with your basketball programs.

One last thing, under my proposal, the city is not building me an ice rink...i will be paying for this project. Not sure where you get your information.

Submitted by Dondol on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 11:46am.

"One last thing, under my proposal, the city is not building me an ice rink...i will be paying for this project. Not sure where you get your information."

Well Dar, which is it? Are you asking the City to pay for this addition or are you proposing to build this addition with your
money and donate it to the City to let you run it and pocket
the profits, HUM?????

Dar Thompson, who owns several local health clubs, has offered a similar proposal, but he wants the city to build an ice rink addition to the facility which could cost between $1.5 and $2 million. Thompson said he is willing to “personally guarantee the cost of the addition.”

Obama's weapon of Choice!

Submitted by MrBeef on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 10:30am.

There are too many people on here who don't have a clue what they are talking about.

You are pushing the fact that the courts are only utilized 3 months out of the year. I was only showing that you are wrong, they are used year round. The problem with the leagues not covering the cost for the building, well, that is a whole different issue. Obviously fees need to be changed to HELP cover costs.

Don't ask where I get my information, I have not mis-stated anything, I never said anything about the city paying for this project or building YOU and ice rink. That was someone else.

Submitted by Dondol on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 10:30am.

Let me get this straight, you want us (the citizens) to pony up 2 million to build YOU an ice rink that YOU will run and make the profits off of and what we get is increased traffic, trash and the inability to use a piece of CITY OWNED property.
Whoe dude that was a good hit, my head is spinning.

Looking forward to NOT seeing your name on a ballot.

Obama's weapon of Choice!

Shelby Barker's picture
Submitted by Shelby Barker on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:18pm.

I have faith that the city council will cautiously examine this issue. I firmly believe that it would be a mistake to surrender such an asset of the city to another organization. I applaud the staff’s plan of structural changes regarding fees and how they are implemented. The Fieldhouse is a huge asset to our community that provides a reasonably priced venue for both organizations and individuals. As we celebrate our 50th year anniversary it is important to look back at the policies that have created such a successful community. These policies are centered around a quality of life grounded on family values. As a city run facility, this venue has and will continue to produce programs that bring the family together. Facilities like this are an investment into our community’s children, especially our teenagers.

While I was the Peachtree City Youth Council president, we used the Fieldhouse for many events such as dodgeball, basketball, and even a Halloween party for young children. These types of events could only be provided because of the relationship the city has with the facility. If we were to allow these facilities to leave the city’s grasp, I could see the possibility of a dramatic restructuring of policies resulting in a great disservice to the community. I hope that if you feel the same way, you will attend the city council meeting on Thursday night and voice your opinion.

Shelby Barker
Candidate for City Council Post 1

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 2:20pm.

I know you only have so long to edit, but it's available for a little while for sure.

That said, I agree totally. They already sold out the Amphitheater to NoDoze...what's next?

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 05/21/2009 - 2:13pm.

You can edit your own post as long as someone has not already replied to it.Once it has been replied to, it is set and no edits can be made

Shelby Barker's picture
Submitted by Shelby Barker on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:37pm.

HA HA HA Sorry!

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 7:53pm.

Good to see you don't take yourself too seriously.

... And re-reading that first post, I can tell why.


Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:31pm.

Especially when you enjoy swimming in the pool with them... And when you get out of the water, you bead off like a Mallard, from all of the sheen a floatin on top of the waters... And thats all i got to say about that........NYCE

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 6:23pm.


If it's true that in a democracy all people get the government they deserve, a Barker victory would be like some horse-riding, seal-opening, bowl-spilling ghoul from the Book of Revelation itself.

Yeah, I know. Why spell check. You're only running for city council.

My god.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot:


yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 8:11pm.

I don't know Shelby but some of her comments make a lot of sense to me. I do not want to see the city sell off all of our assets during this tough economy just to make ends meet. The economy will recover and we may well regret some of these decisions.

Spell check?
Don't know about you but my God gets a capital G


Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 9:02pm.

Many atheists frequently spell it with a lowercase 'g', G.

I meant Vishnu anyway so don't trip.


yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Wed, 05/20/2009 - 8:28am.

And you had so many great gospel albums.
You do realize that the only Grammy Elvis ever won was for a Gospel album?

Anyway - have a great day King!

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