September 2010: Vol. 4, Issue 9 Past issues | Printer Friendly | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Fayette County's Peachtree City is a Unique Master-Planned Community

Peachtree City is one of the nation's first master-planned communities and offers many unique features, among these residential neighborhoods well removed from developed industrial areas, abundant local forests (city regulations restrict tree cutting) and limits on the heights of fences and business signs. Regulated buffer zones are perhaps the most plentiful in the state around water bodies -- lakes, streams and wetlands.

Peachtree City's popularity as a residential enclave (the city grew by 66 percent in the last U.S. census) reflects its beginnings as an ancient community center to Southeast "woodland" Indians going back thousands of years.  Later, it was a settlement center for Northern Europeans, notably those of Scotch and Irish heritage.

Largely rural until the mid-20th century, Peachtree City was master planned in the 1950s by a group of real estate developers who acquired over 12,000 acres in Fayette County for the express purpose of building a planned community.

Chartered on March 9, 1959, the city was envisioned as a group of distinct "town villages" each with its own shopping, recreational facilities and elementary schools. Today these "villages," within the city limits are Aberdeen, Braelinn, Glenloch, Kedron and Wilksmoor, bearing the names of Scottish hamlets that recall the heritage of 18th century settlers.

Peachtree City's original "blueprint" anticipated approximately 80,000 residents. In the mid 1970s, the land use plan was revised for a total of 40,000 to 50,000 residents. Future plans tentatively call for a new "village" that could add some 4,000 new residents.

Currently, Peachtree City is home to over 40,000 and also is a base for domestic and international companies, including Cooper Lighting, Fitel Interconnectivity, Hoshizaki-America, Panasonic and TDK. The median family income approaches $90,000, one of the highest in the state.

Recreation is a high priority as well, and the community offers two 250-acre lakes, three golf courses, a substantial public tennis complex, five public pools, a BMX bicycle track, a 2,200 seat amphitheater and 70-plus miles of paved trails, well utilized by residents for walking and serving as a natural network for the alternative transportation of choice here, golf carts.

Peachtree City is also distinguished for its high-profile regional airport, Falcon Field, which hosts a popular air show yearly; for being a National Weather Service radar station and forecast office, serving 96 counties in north and central Georgia; and is a Foreign Trade Zone as designated by the U.S. Customs Service (a.k.a. U.S. Customs and Border Protection).


Verizon Wireless is offering a new discount of 18 percent to county officials and employees!

Through the ACCG-Verizon Wireless partnership, discounts are available to Georgia county officials and county employees for wireless service and accessories. County officials and county employees are eligible to receive significant discounts provided that they satisfy the following requirements:

• Available to both existing and prospective customers
• The account must be in the county officials or employee’s name
• Access discounts apply only to monthly price plans of at least $39.99
• Does not apply to pre-paid phone plans or equipment.

Benefits of the Program are listed below:
• In order to receive the 18 percent Discount on Monthly Access, you must activate a new line of service, renew existing contract or upgrade an eligible line of service. Existing subscribers will remain at the 15 percent discount unless one of the above actions is taken.
• 25 percent Discount on Accessories
• Significant discount on equipment with several Free Handsets
• Unlimited In Network Calling; Unlimited Nights and Weekends
• Included Domestic Long Distance

Visit: or call 1-800-922-0204.  You must identify yourself as a Georgia county official or county employee if you call.


Troup County’s mega-boat ramp push at West Point Lake sets world record

Civil engineers with the Troup County road department collectively held their breath on July 22 as five bulldozers pushed a 324-ton concrete slab into West Point Lake near LaGrange. At the end of the 3-minute, 25-second ordeal, a new world record was reached and the engineers breathed a sigh of relief.

The push of the mega-boat ramp likely sets a world record as the largest boat ramp ever moved into a body of water, according to Ted Will, region supervisor of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ fisheries management section and statewide director of the boating access program.

The three-lane, 160-foot-long and 43-foot-wide concrete slab connects with another record-setting ramp moved into the lake in May; that first slab measured 120 feet long and weighed 234 tons. Together, the slabs form a six-lane mega-ramp that was funded with a $400,000 state grant as part of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s "Go Fish Georgia" initiative to attract fishing tournaments to boost local economies.

"This mega-ramp facilitates the very largest tournaments, so it gives Troup County something unique as a draw for tourists," said Troup Commission Chairman Ricky Wolfe.

The mega-boat ramp at Pyne Road Park is the largest of its kind and the only boat ramp in this region with six lanes for boat launching and loading. The ramp gets its first major workout next spring when the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series comes to Troup County, bringing the world’s top anglers to compete on West Point Lake in the May 5-8 Pride of Georgia event. Competitors will use the new mega-ramp at Pyne Road Park, according to LaGrange-Troup County tourism director Laura Jennings who said the tournament brings national and international television coverage via ESPN.
"What the Masters is to golf this tournament is to fishing," said Jennings.

The efforts of Troup County’s road department are likely to receive national recognition by organizations devoted to boating access, according to Will who commended county employees for their "creativity and innovation."

Troup County engineer James Emery and project engineer Kevin Kinnersley led the project which involved ample brainstorming on ways to successfully move the huge slab. Joining them to facilitate the project were Doug Smith, road supervisor; Ricky Littlefield, engineering technician; and Charles Brock, construction foreman.

"These five men worked together to accomplish something that had not been done before, here in Troup County or anywhere else," said Wolfe. "How they approached this project and came up with a workable solution shows the ingenuity of the County’s road department and its engineers."

Will termed the successful mega-ramp push "quite amazing" and added that the county employees’ ingenuity also results in taxpayer savings.

"Most counties, if they had to go outside and contract out the site plans, engineering and the construction of these mega-ramps, it would have cost them twice as much, but Troup County was able to do this work with a quality product at a very reasonable cost," said Will. "Ultimately what this means for Troup County is millions of dollars of local economic impact due to the large tournaments that will be attracted to this site because of their efforts."

When first contemplating how to place a concrete slab of this magnitude, Emery searched the Internet for information, hoping to mimic a successful project, but he soon discovered that no ramps this large had been moved into water. In fact, the recommended maximum for such ramps is one-third the size of Troup County’s. After studying various methods, the civil engineers incorporated ideas of their own to accomplish the push.

"We used a lot of the techniques that had been used before, but they had never been used altogether," said Emery. "One of our ideas was adding vegetable oil to reduce the friction, because that’s really what it’s all about: in order to push 324 tons you have to either have enough pushing force or low enough coefficient of friction, so we approached it from both angles."

The July push took 3 minutes and 25 seconds for the mega-ramp to slide into place. Accompanying the new mega-ramp is a new L-shaped dock, 10-feet wide and more than 300-feet long, to accommodate 60 boats.

Troup County’s record will remain intact for a long time, according to Will. "What they’ve been able to accomplish sets a precedent," he said, "but I personally cannot see anyone ever pushing a slab that large again. That is quite the sight. The ultimate reward in the end for the people of Troup County is tournaments like the Elite Series and others coming to town."

The deep mega-ramp allows boaters to launch even in drought conditions that drop the lake’s water level, according to Will, who said the beauty of the mega-ramps is that they allow "fluid, efficient, quick launch of boats," a necessity when hosting tournaments.

The Go Fish Georgia Initiative includes development of the Georgia Bass Trail, a 15-stop trail designed to provide a statewide system of large boating access areas capable of supporting large tournament events. West Point Lake is one of the 15 stops on the trail.

For more information contact Mike Dobbs, Troup County manager at 706-883-1610.



Essential Records Webinar

This instructor-led online course will be delivered in four sessions.  There are two opportunities to take this course. 

First Workshop, ESS-GA-0001
September 21, 23, 28, 30
10:00 a.m. – noon each day 


Second Workshop, ESS-GA-0002
October 13, 15, 20, 22
10:00 a.m. – noon each day
Who should take this course:
City and county clerks, recorders, administrators, emergency preparedness personnel and information technology staff

What this course covers:
Identifying your agency’s essential records;
Analyzing and prioritizing records, assessing specific risks;
Specifying time frames for when essential records will be available in an emergency;
Developing procedures to ensure access to and security for essential records;
Becoming familiar with federal, state, and local COOP regulations and procedures

To Register:
Go to

If you don’t see the course you want to take under "Upcoming Courses" on the front page, then click on the red IPER Courses tab at the top of the screen. Use the drop down window to display only Georgia courses, click on the "Register Now" button next to the course you want to take, then complete the online registration process.

There is no fee for this workshop; however, registration is limited to the first 25 participants.

You will receive an email confirmation and information about technical requirement and instructions for logging into the iLinc system.

Technical Requirements
Computer with a broadband internet connection;
Phone next to the computer for dialing into a conference line (headset highly recommended);
Ability to print out participants guide and handouts.

David Carmicheal, Director, Georgia Archives
Tina Seetoo, Conservator, Georgia Archives
Christine Wiseman, Preservation Manager, Georgia Archives

These workshops are presented by the Georgia Archives and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and supported by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

For more information on the IPER project, visit

For more information on the Georgia webinars, contact Christine Wiseman at



The Georgia Department of Transportation's (GDOT's) Consultation Process

The Georgia Department of Transportation is soliciting comments on the Department's federally mandated Consultation Process with local officials in rural areas of the state. This process provides affected local officials an opportunity to comment and assist in the development of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (SSTP). While the consultation with local officials in rural areas of the state is continuously ongoing, the process below simply defines, per federal law, the methodology that is recommended to achieve successful local government consultation.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Department's project manager, Kyle Mote, by October 29, 2010, at 404-631-1987 or

Consultation Process

The Georgia Department of Transportation's (GDOT's) Consultation Process with local officials in rural areas of the state will provide affected local officials that have responsibility for transportation an opportunity to be involved in transportation plans and programs, on a consultation basis, for portions of the plan in non-metropolitan areas of the state. Consultation meaning that one party confers with another identified party in accordance with an established process. This implementation plan addresses the process in which the GDOT shall use to confer with Rural Local Officials or state associations and agencies representing Rural Local Officials during the development and final production of the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan and the State Transportation Improvement Program.

Described below is the methodology that is recommended to achieve Local Government Consultation. It is GDOT's objective that the implementation of this proposed process will be maintained separate from GDOT's current Public Involvement Process.


As part of the STIP development process, the District Planning and Programming Engineers shall meet with representatives (rural local government officials) from each county and city in their area to discuss projects in the STIP, to solicit comments and to answer questions.

These meetings will typically occur between April and June. During these meetings, a range of transportation issues may be discussed and rural local officials will be asked to sign a"Certification of Consultation with Elected Officials" documenting STIP consultatioe Office of Planning will send a kickoff letter, to all of the rural cities and counties announcing the meetings (addresses to be supplied by GDOT District Offices) indicating that the STIP consultation meetings are being scheduled as part of the Rural Government Consultation Process.

The District Planning and Programming Engineer will follow up the Office of Planning's announcement letter, with a letter or email (to rural city and county government officials) giving each City and County government official an opportunity to meet with the District Planning and Programming Engineer to discuss the STIP. Along with the District's letter, copies of the projects, within the county that are anticipated to be placed in the STIP, should be attached for each individual county's review. The District Office letter or email, transmitting the list of projects should occur prior to the STIP development meeting. The District will provide a list of meeting dates and times, for all STIP meetings concerning local elected officials, to the STIP Public Outreach Coordinator before meetings take place.

Requests that cannot be addressed during these meetings will be forwarded to the appropriate GDOT office for response and the rural local official shall be copied. The responding office shall reply to the rural local official in writing within thirty days.


The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and the Regional Commission (RCs) shall be included as part of the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan's (SSTP) Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee shall work with GDOT in an advisory role to provide continuous feedback on SSTP work products and tasks. During the stakeholder meetings, the attendees will be encouraged to voice their concerns and ask questions.

Responses may be made available at the meetings or be forwarded to the appropriate GDOT Office for response. Every comment and concern will be considered. Responses will be made in a timely manner, with the amount of time required being dependent upon the availability of information and the time required to generate the needed information for an appropriate response by GDOT.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee shall meet a minimum of three times during the development of the SSTP. The first meeting shall be held at the beginning of the process in order to give the advisory committee an opportunity to help define the process. The second meeting shall be held during the process to provide status information and to solicit input from committee members. The last meeting shall be held near the completion of the SSTP development in order to inform the committee of draft findings and recommendations and to solicit comments from the advisory Committee. Comments received from the advisory committee shall be responded to during the meetings when possible and made part of official minutes for that meeting. Otherwise, comments shall be addressed in writing. All comments and responses shall be included in the official documentation of the SSTP process.

Local government (city and county) officials shall be given the opportunity to participate in the SSTP as members of a rural transportation focus group. The focus group shall provide local officials, with the responsibility for transportation in rural areas of the state, an opportunity to comment on and provide direction for statewide planning in non-metropolitan areas. The results of these focus groups will be considered in the development of the SSTP.

The ACCG, the GMA, the Regional Commissions and Rural Local Officials shall be notified in writing at least fifteen days prior to beginning the SSTP development. The initial notification shall inform them of the SSTP process, proposed schedule, and how they may participate in the process. They shall also be notified in writing at the conclusion of the SSTP update informing them on how they may review and comment on the final documentation of the SSTP.


As part of GDOT's implementation plan, the Office of Planning shall review and solicit comments from non-metropolitan local officials for a period of not less than 60 days regarding the effectiveness of the consultation process and proposed modifications at least once every 5 years. GDOT shall be responsible for determining whether to accept any proposed modifications. If a proposed modification is not accepted by GDOT, it will be made publicly available [the reasons for not accepting the proposed modification] including written notification to non-metropolitan local officials or their associates.


Associate Member Corner
The Potts Company
Naylor, LLC

Association County Commissioners of Georgia
2010-2011 ACCG Board of Managers

Association County Commissioners of Georgia
50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 1000 | Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 |

We would appreciate your comments or suggestions. Your email will be kept private and confidential.

Courthouse photos courtesy of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia.