I am completing my second term and will be keeping my promise in favor of observing term-limits.
Truly, I have to admit that at certain times over the last several years there has been a great deal of disappointment, watching leadership fall back on its heels and not seeing the big picture toward the future. The petty garbage that blocks the oxygen leading to the brain is astounding.
Look, if you are going to run for office, you need to have a thick skin and you need to be able to stand for your principles. There are always going to be special interests vying to corrupt the process and complainers who have no solutions. You cannot worry about the axis of dishonesty and irresolution, just do what you promised the voters even if it means working with someone you do not like to get it done.
I have thoroughly studied many of the issues that can impact our county’s future. It’s difficult to watch as these issues unfold, each taking a thick slice out of our quality of life.
It is difficult to believe that we cannot muster the leadership in Peachtree City and Tyrone to work out a sewer usage deal. Peachtree City has too much capacity and Tyrone has a need.
Peachtree City’s overabundance of sewage capacity was one of those nefarious deals of years gone by and it could become a source of devastation. It has been Peachtree City sewage customers who have had to pay for sewage treatment facilities larger than what we required, a lot of it, for many years, with residential customers subsidizing industrial customers.
So here is where I sound the alarm once again. Tyrone residents had better make sure they know exactly where and how their leadership plans on using an additional 150,000 gallons of sewage capacity for a total of 400,000 gallons.
On the other side, if Peachtree City does not sell the excess sewage capacity to Tyrone, then it will eventually be sold in Coweta County. The insult of Peachtree City residents paying for more facilities than were needed and then, when it is all paid off, the Water and Sewer Authority sells capacity to developers across the border who did not pay a dime to eliminate the huge debt.
At least if the excess capacity is sold to Tyrone, the money helps Fayette County prosper with enterprises that generate tax revenue, county-wide SPLOST revenue, Fayette school taxes and such.
If the excess capacity is sold to Coweta or Senoia, our paid sewage infrastructure will be used to build-up the competition, aid in bolstering their economy, increase their tax revenue and create more retail competition just across the border to run our smaller shopping centers out of business.
We know what is land-planned across the boundary line in Coweta: more shopping centers and a lot more residential units. If you think the traffic is bad now, just wait till Coweta has the sewer capacity to build everything they have planned.
If Mayor Dial and Mayor Fleisch cannot play in the sandbox together, then each of those councils needs to appoint a council member who has the ability to negotiate a deal. Hopefully, there are a couple who see the big picture.
In the event that Tyrone becomes a Fulton County sewer customer, a horrible scenario, Peachtree City needs to immediately begin the process of getting the state legislature to return the sewer system back under the authority of the city government and eliminate the Water and Sewer Authority.
The bond agreement giving the city government the right of refusal on extending the sewerage capacity into Coweta County ends in less than 10 years. After that point, the Water and Sewer Authority could literally pump our infrastructure and our future tax revenue across the border.
We need to see some collaboration. Do not screw this up for everyone living in Fayette County.
Steve Brown, Commissioner
Fayette County Board of Commissioners
Peachtree City, Ga.