PTC Mayor outlines accomplishments, looks to future in state of city

Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch had something for everyone in her State of the City Address Jan. 24.

“Last year was a phenomenal year for Peachtree City; we completed many much-needed projects across the city, including the largest public works project that Peachtree City has ever done, the spillway for Lake Peachtree,” she said.

Fleisch thanked everyone involved in the process.

“Thanks to the work of many people, The Lake Peachtree Spillway, Drake Field, and Spyglass Island are now iconic landmarks in our beautiful city. Each of those projects took many years to bring to fruition, and I am grateful that our citizens and their families can enjoy these formerly underutilized city properties.”

Another area the city addressed in 2018 was stormwater.

“Developers built Peachtree City with very little oversight from the city for almost 30 years. As a result, many of the building materials used then are now reaching the end of their useful life. Across the city, we have 81 miles of stormwater pipe, most of which is corrugated metal which has a lifespan of 25 years. The average age of a pipe is 30 years. Over the past five years, the stormwater utility has either re-lined or replaced about 40,000 linear feet of pipe with materials that will last from 50 to 100 years,” she said.

Another issue the city got proactive about in 2018 was the city’s Water and Sewer Authority.

“Since its inception, the board of WASA was made up of volunteers from our community. This changed last year. After attempts failed to reign in the prior board’s determination to extend sewer outside the city limits without the city’s consent, The Mayor and City Council initiated efforts in 2017 to amend the enabling legislation of WASA, changing the Board makeup from being appointed positions to being the Mayor and Council members,” Fleisch said.

“The Mayor and Council now sit as the Board of Directors of WASA. This new board was seated in July of 2018. Since assuming control, we have halted deficit spending planned for in prior budgets, and halted a substantial rate increase recommended in a study commissioned by the prior board.”

She said the city established a 10-year prioritization of capital and maintenance projects, restructured management and staffing, eliminating two middle management positions, and reducing budgeted staffing from 34 positions to 29.

The city also implemented financial and accounting controls and software consistent with the city’s successful policies.

“The new Board and leadership are encouraged about the future of WASA and are looking forward to 2019,” she said.

In 2019, Fleisch said the city will focus on ways to grow the city.

“The city is 60 years old this year and redevelopment and incentives for redevelopment need to be topics of discussion. To that end, we are in the process of looking at the area around City Hall as a potential spot to redevelop so that we can make the highest and best use of this corridor,” Fleisch said.

She added that redeveloping this area was a part of the conversation when we did the most recent comprehensive plan with our citizen volunteers.

“We have engaged Historical Concepts and have consulted with residents who were here during the formative years of the city to help formulate ways to make the city hall area a more vibrant asset for the city. The next step is to apply for planning and implementation grants. It is my hope that we will win the grant to help move this process further so that we can look at ways to revitalize this area and spur private investment in our city.”

Fleisch also noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the city’s police department.

“In the current trend of tremendous media scrutiny of the police profession, our workforce continues to operate within our enforced guidelines to protect the officers and the department from unnecessary scrutiny,” she added.

She closed the speech with a message of hope for the city’s residents.

“I look forward to a productive 2019 for the city and our citizens. Together we will continue to make Peachtree City a wonderful place to live.”

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