Letter: Road project will place extra burden on taxpayers

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 8, 2016


Having spent 25 years of my life as a developer — Pathway Communities, previously known as Peachtree City Development Corp. — primarily developing the city of Peachtree City, Summer Grove and Avery Park in Newnan, Monarch Village in Stockbridge and others, I feel qualified to address this subject. During those 25 years we averaged over 600 homesites (lots) per year.

Never did a municipality — city or county — pay one dime toward developing a road, installing water lines or installing sewer lines and associated sewer lift stations. To the contrary, not only did we pay for all roads including all storm drainage associated with them, as well as the water and sewer lines, if by an independent traffic study, which we also paid for, it was determined the additional traffic resulting from our development impacted the need for off-site improvements, such as signalization, deceleration lanes, etc., that was also our total responsibility.

To the best of my knowledge, that is the standard to which all developers in Georgia are held. In addition, we were also required to maintain those roads for two years.

It is also my understanding that $4.5 million has been estimated to be the cost of said road with the Callaway Foundation contributing $2 million making the net estimated cost to the city $2.5 million — SPLOST Funds — which appears not to include costs for utilities. It is my further understanding that no soil tests have been conducted which, in my experience, could result in drastically increasing costs should poor soils or rock be encountered.

In closing, I find it astonishing that the city would commit to build this road primarily for a developer, Callaway Foundation, who has not even submitted a concept plan as to how this property will be developed.

Concept plans are basic requirements (I) that allow traffic studies to be performed so as to determine the impact on existing traffic patterns and what additional improvements, such as signalization, etc., will be needed, (II) that provide information for adequate planning for utilities and (III) that gives critical information as relates to the potential impact on the school system.

These unanswered basic questions will in all likelihood result in a road project that could far exceed the estimated cost which would, I expect, place the burden on the taxpayer.

Steve Black