Nobody Cares (Part 3 of 6)

Eric Imker is a retired Air Force officer (1994) and former Peachtree City Council Member (2009-2015) who has advance degrees in Program Management and Computer Systems with professional expertise in Systems Engineering, Government and Business Contracting, and Budgeting and Personnel Management.

This is the continuing series of articles about Peachtree City issues.

 

Peachtree City Council plans to spend $539,000 to replace the cart path bridge at GA54 over Lake Peachtree. Yes, it is currently one lane. We’ve lived with this for what, 30 years now? I find it rather nice to be polite and waive oncoming carts across before me. It shows courtesy and friendship that are hallmarks of Peachtree City. I can wait 5 seconds once in every 10 times I have to cross that bridge.

By the way, we paid $80,000 for a new railing a few years ago and got an engineering evaluation telling us the bridge was good for another 40 years. Why suddenly does it becomes necessary to make this a two-lane cart bridge, spending over half a million dollars?

What about the dozens of other one-lane cart bridges in the city? How about the one-lane cart bridges at Lake Kedron? How about the one at Flat Creek Road? How about the many one-lane tunnels that are the real safety concerns?

But no. Suddenly we need to replace a bridge that’s good for at least another 30 years at a cost of over half a million bucks. This money could (legally) be spent on additional cart path repaving or road resurfacing. It seems nobody cares.
Another $20,000 is destined to be wasted to design a bridge or tunnel at Crosstown Road and GA74. Apparently if this design is deemed OK, we can spend another $5,000,000 to connect a cart path over GA74 at this location to reach Dividend Drive.

You see, not only does one have to get over GA74, then you have to get over the railroad tracks. All for what? To save a couple minutes going around on the existing cart paths. Not for $5M of my tax money you don’t. Does anybody care?

On an important but often overlooked note related to this intersection, this is where the infamous TDK Boulevard might connect to Coweta County. Real estate agents love it, but it would result in traffic akin to the magnitude of the Coweta County traffic on GA54 that now exists.

Make no mistake, traffic would pour into Peachtree City from TDK Boulevard. I’ve heard arguments like the Crosstown shopping center is dying and needs the boost. Really? Then why did the shopping center owner and Kroger recently invest millions of dollars upgrading it? Don’t be fooled by the closing of K-Mart, that was a decision made in Chicago and which has nothing to do with Peachtree City.

Plus, don’t you think with the thousands (!) of new homes to be built in Coweta, they’d also build their own shopping center(s) over there?

We must demand in every future city council election that candidates must state their position on allowing this connection from TDK Boulevard to Coweta County. Anyone who is not 100 percent against the connection needs to be overwhelmingly defeated.

Let’s look at something that affects every homeowner, renter, and apartment dweller personally. What about the highly touted cost savings we were supposed to get when our city council took over our sewer bills? Not only did council not give us a savings, they cost us more by hiring an even more expensive “management company” to oversee sewer operations.

Council was shown how to save nearly $1,000,000 a year if the city took control of WASA but instead they found a way to make it more expensive. This is outrageous.

There were savings to be had from eliminating duplication of effort (e.g., similar equipment and some personnel) with our stormwater system. Understanding the concept of economy of scale with two large, like organizational budgets combining, sewer, and stormwater, remains to be recognized. Our council has zero program management expertise and no vision how to implement savings that are just sitting there for us, the tax and rate payers. Sometimes, it seems nobody cares.

Meanwhile, the Huddleston Road commercial area remains on a septic system. An entire commercial area still sends body waste into a hole in the ground. The effluent from this street will eventually find the path to our groundwater, then what? But who cares about future long-term unknown but likely unconscionable and detrimental consequences. I hope we care.

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