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Fayette County


Peachtree City raises golf cart registration fees

New Peachtree City City Council Member Phil Prebor is sworn in at Thursday’s meeting. (Staff photo by Christopher Dunn)

In their first meeting of 2016, the City Council of Peachtree City tackled a number of big issues, ranging from golf cart registration fees to Drake Field restoration and State Route 54 road work.
The first real item for discussion involves something uniquely Peachtree City, as the cost to register a golf cart is about to go up, especially for those outside city limits.
Registration for PTC residents will go up from $12 to $15 per year, paid in three-year cycles, making it $45 for the full three-year registration. Should someone register in the middle of the three-year cycle, they would only pay based on how much time is left in the cycle. Cart transfer fees increase from $5 to $15, and late fees stay at $20.
The fee increase will hit harder for nonresidents, going up from $60 a year to $100. Combined with the cart registration, nonresidents will be looking at a total of $115 per year. Tyrone residents will see the worst of it, as the plan ends the reciprocal registration agreement that saw them avoiding nonresident fees if already registered with Tyrone. They would go from not paying anything to that same $115 per year. There are about 1,000 nonresidents registered currently, with an additional roughly 300 in Tyrone that would see their fees go up.
The funds go towards maintaining the golf cart paths themselves, what council dubbed Peachtree City’s “signature amenity.” The public infrastructure system serves 11,400 registered golf carts over its 100 miles. Maintenance of the paths is a point of emphasis, and one that the city has to figure out on their own, because a system of its magnitude is unique in the state of Georgia. “No one else has this feature or expense,” said City Clerk Betsy Tyler in her presentation.
All Peachtree City households, whether they own a golf cart or not, currently pay $97.16 as part of their property taxes. Add in the roughly $180,000 that comes from the registration fees, and it is still barely a drop in the bucket for the $1.7 million included for cart path maintenance in the 2016 budget.
With a goal of resurfacing 10 miles of path a year over the next decade to fully cover the 100 miles of path, every dollar will count.
“We’re way behind (on maintenance), and we need to catch up,” said Council Member Mike King. “This is just a small step in the right direction.”
Newly-elected Council Member Phil Prebor agreed that it was fair to ask nonresidents to chip in more.
“It’s our number-one amenity, and it’s an amenity for them, too,” said Prebor, adding that he believed having access to golf cart paths would increase a nonresident’s home value by more than they would pay out in registration fees. “I think they’re getting a bargain.”
Council approved the ordinance amendments 3-2, Terry Ernst and Kim Learnard voting in opposition, both suggesting the nonresident fees should not be raised.
Council unanimously approved reducing the length of the median at SR 54 at Planterra Way. The goal of the move is to make turning left out of Walmart back towards Peachtree City easier. It is part of the larger package of work to be done along the SR 54 corridor, but convenience made it a good idea to start on this piece now. While much of the work ahead is on the side streets, the median is in the middle of the corridor, where crews are already working. Work on shortening the median should start next week.
As part of the ongoing Lake Peachtree project, council authorized City Manager Jon Rorie to tweak plans with the county. The contract between the two entities initially called for the county to restore Drake Field to its original condition when dredging is complete. In lieu of that, Rorie will request $25,000 to be used for the revitalization of the field. Among the enhancements would be low-level lighting and a gazebo to help facilitate more community use of the passive park.
At the start of the meeting, Prebor was sworn in for his Post 1 seat, and King was sworn in as mayor pro-tem.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.