PTC eyes fee exemptions for new businesses

Tue, 11/17/2009 - 4:53pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City staff is proposing additional language to clarify how proposed exemptions to the city’s new business impact fee will be handled.

The ordinance adopted in September allows the city to grant up a exemption of up to 50 percent for projects which “represent extraordinary economic development and employment growth.” If the project is located in the industrial park, it can qualify for an additional discount of up to a 25 percent break, and if it uses an existing building in the industrial park, it could get up to another 25 percent additional discount as well.

The council will take up the issue at its regular meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The new language establishes the exemptions as being a discretionary decision made by the City Council, which must also take into account not only the jobs created by a given project but also the economic condition of the city.

Impact fees are one-time fees charged to brand-new developments upon construction. Until September, the city only charged impact fees to residential units, but the new ordinance allows them to be assessed for new retail, office and other business uses as well.

Council is also slated to vote on the purchase of an apparatus that will fill firefighter’s oxygen tanks. The fill station and oxygen cylinders will cost $26,284 but will allow the city to cut annual spending of $6,300 for oxygen and cylinder rental.

The other upside is the city will have a dedicated supply of medical grade oxygen that can be used for residents dependent on home oxygen machines in case of natural disaster.

The fire department is also asking for approval to reallocate $11,261 to purchase fire and emergency medical training through a subscription online service. The training is available to all paid and volunteer personnel 24 hours a day and supplements the live in-person training offered by the department, fire officials said.

The funds come in part from savings due to the moving of water rescue training to Lake Horton in south Fayette County, making the typical out of town trip unnecessary.

Council is also expected to reappoint attorney Stephen Ott as the municipal court judge and Providence Community Corrections as the city’s municipal court probation provider.

Ott was the only attorney to respond to the city’s request for proposals for the position. Currently paid $95 per hour for court and $115 per hour for after hours services, Ott would get a $5 per hour increase for court time with the after hours compensation remaining the same.

The probation services do not cost the city as they are funded by fees paid by probationers.

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