PTC to have more budget talks Thursday

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 3:32pm
By: John Munford

The Peachtree City Council is slated to again discuss its fiscal plans for the upcoming 2009-2010 fiscal year at Thursday night’s council meeting.

Residents will have the chance to comment on the budget as the discussion will take place during a public hearing on the matter. A copy of the budget document is available for download at

The current recommendation from city staff calls for a property tax increase of .244 mills, which equates to roughly an additional $24.40 on the property tax bill of a home valued at $250,000, officials said.

Mayor Harold Logsdon, however, thinks the city should balance the budget by using cash reserves to the tune of $450,000. Doing so would deplete the city’s cash reserves from 35 percent of its annual budget to approximately 33 percent, City Finance Director Paul Salvatore has said.

Logsdon contends that’s still plenty to keep in cash reserves and leave the city “in good financial shape.”

City staff warned council that if its reserves are depleted too much or too often, the city might risk a backslide on its bond rating which in turn affects the interest rates the city is able to secure for financing.

Logsdon has said city property owners will face a significant tax increase next year because the state will no longer fund a grant that reduced property taxes. Logsdon pegged that tax increase alone as being $240 on a home with a $250,000 value.

Despite the millage rate increase, the city is actually planning to spend $26.3 million in 2009-2010 as opposed to the projected final spending for this year of $26.59 million.

The budget includes two new full-time positions: a police detective to help deal with increasing amounts of identity fraud and similar cases and another police officer.

The budget does not include any cost of living or merit raises for city employees. The cost of living raises would cost $286,000 and the merit increases would cost an estimated $489,000.

Also unfunded are the proposed raises for the mayor and city council members which were to take affect this year.

As a budget-saving measure, the police department has reduced its new patrol car request from eight to six. To replace the other two patrol cars, the city will enter a two-year lease on two motorcycles to be used for patrol, Clark said.

Among other budget cuts is a significant change at the city’s Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater. The summer concert series is being cut from two nights per artist to one, and the venue’s two employees will work 25 percent of their time on various tasks for the city, as 25 percent of their salary will come from the city’s general fund instead of the amphitheater budget.

The city has also pared $100,000 in costs from the Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center while implementing an estimated $200,000 in additional revenue for the facility, reducing the budget burden by $300,000 total, officials said. In doing so the city will let go one full-time and three part-time employees there.

This year the city is again financing a number of capital improvements with a $2.38 million loan. Those projects include the completion of renovations at the city’s police headquarters, repair of a sinkhole underneath a portion of city hall, resurfacing the parking lot at city hall and significant repairs and upgrades at the city’s four fire stations.

Among the work at the fire stations will be replacing septic service with sewer service at the Weber station and the Satterthwaite station. The Satterthwaite station will be remodeled and expanded to accommodate the larger group of firefighters added to the station.

Also the Neely station will undergo driveway and parking lot repairs, roof repairs and a redesign of its heating ventilation and cooling system.

The Leach station will have driveway and parking lot repairs.

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