With a remaining backlog of repair and replacement projects still needing attention, Peachtree City officials are likely to approve a second $3 million bond in coming months.
The process was put on hold last week as councilman Eric Imker said he wanted to delve into the budget process, which starts next month, to make sure the city was in good financial shape before making the final call on the additional debt.
At $3 million the debt service payment was initially estimated to be $361,000 a year for 10 years. But a revised estimate with a lower interest rate the city is likely to receive shows it would cost about $330,000 a year instead, according to Community Services Director Jon Rorie.
The proposed list of projects breaks down to $1.3 million for leisure services, $1.04 million for public safety projects, $265,000 for public services and $225,000 for administrative services with a small contingency amount.
The hope is there could be a further cost savings on many of the individual projects by using in-house talent instead of exclusively contracting out each project, Rorie noted. There is a time crunch however to complete all projects in three years because of the requirements of the bond process, he added.
Staff has spent some time working the project details in an effort to maximize the life expectancy of the projects, Rorie said, using the example of the replacement of the basketball court at the Braelinn Village recreation area. Instead of repairing the asphalt with the potential to last only a few years, the surface will be completely removed and replaced with a concrete surface that should last about 50 years at a cost of about $43,000, Rorie said.
Among the other recreation projects are $75,000 for a replacement tower at the BMX track and $25,000 for a new irrigation system there … along with $50,000 to renovate the skate park area, $62,000 for replacement of playground equipment, $175,000 for roof replacement at the tennis center and $331,000 for restoration of the rink wall and roof at the Kedron roller hockey rink. Also included is $100,000 to expand the irrigation pond used for the baseball and soccer fields at the city’s baseball and soccer complex and $30,000 to repair and replace some windows at the city library.
In the public safety category is $315,000 to replace the police department headquarters roof and another $50,000 to replace heating and cooling units that are located on the roof, Rorie said. Three fire stations will get new roofs at a total of $351,000 and resurfacing of the parking lot at stations 81 and 82.
In the administrative services category is $100,000 to upgrade the citywide fire protection systems, $50,000 to replace windows at city hall and an electrical upgrade to provide outlets at city hall and Drake Field that can be used for special community-wide events that citizens have asked for in the One PTC public input process, Rorie said.
As for the interest the city might get, Imker said he thought the city might get a rate that would bring that rate down to about $20,000 a year, in which case “it is so far beyond advantageous it’s ridiculous not to even consider doing it that way.
Imker pointed out that the city’s general fund debt is down to about $10.5 million, a reduction of $6 million from four years ago.
“Of that $10 million … all but two will be paid off in the next three years so absorbing another $2.5 million in debt is not out of the realm of individual reality,” Imker said.
Councilman Mike King said he agreed the city needed to play catch-up to fund the repairs and the city can do a better job of keeping track of these things going forward. King said a low interest rate “really minimizes the cost of the money to where its really next to nothing over a 10-year period.”
Mayor Vanessa Fleisch commended city staff for working to get all the projects done.
“It has been incredible what has gone one here since we approved the first bond,” Fleisch said. “We have gotten so far, and that’s wonderful.”
Council expects to formally vote on the bond issue at the June 19 council meeting.