A cart path connecting Senoia to Peachtree City and the return of an outdoor market were the things Senoia residents put the most importance on at at town hall meeting held Thursday.
At the meeting, attendees first talked about the things they like about their town, and then made suggestions for things they would like to see in the future or needed changes. The suggestions were written down individually on large sheets of paper and hung on the walls of the Senoia Senior Citizen Center, where the meeting was held.
Each attendee was given several red sticker dots, and asked to place the dots on the items they felt most strongly about. Several people were seen putting multiple stickers on the cart path poster. Then, the stickers for each item were added up.
The town hall meetings are held every other year by the Senoia Downtown Development Authority. This year’s meeting was facilitated by Candace Boothby of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce.
Golf cart connectivity to Peachtree City was the clear winner with 103 votes.
The return of a downtown farmer’s market and outdoor market, which was suggested by Senoia Outdoor Marketplace founder Suzanne Pengelly, received 71 votes. It was written down as “farmer’s market.”
Other items receiving a significant number of votes were consistent code enforcement with 47, wider lanes and shoulders on Rockaway Road with 39 votes, better trash pickup on busy days downtown with 41 votes, better safety and coordination with downtown walking tours with 29 votes, an upscale community center with activities with 50 votes, more off-street parking with 44 votes, another grocery store with 56 votes, and more arts with 50 votes.
“A lot of good information came out tonight,” said Senoia City Manager Harold Simmons.
“A lot of the things we’re already working on,” he said after the meeting. The city recently added 45 parking spaces along Seavy Street, and a concern that was voiced about spray painting of arrows on roadways for runs and bicycle rides has already been taken care of.
A cart path connecting Senoia and Peachtree City is something that has been discussed since at least 2011 but has been put on the back burner. Part of the path would run through unincorporated Coweta County, and the county has no interested in chipping in funding.
In 2014, it was discussed that the county’s lack of funding was an obstacle, as was the failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in Fayette County.
But there has been activity in the background. Simmons said he recently met with Peachtree City officials to discuss the future of a cart path.
In the past, Simmons said, there were rumors that Peachtree City was opposed to such a path. That is not the case, he said. “Peachtree City would love to connect to Senoia, and Senoia would love to connect to Peachtree City.”
But right now, the project is not a high priority for either side.
Peachtree City spends about a million dollars a year to maintain existing trails, Simmons said. And the city manager told him there are still portions of the city that haven’t been connected. Connections in the city and maintenance of existing trails are a higher priority.
On the Senoia side, the city is in the midst of a trail project that will connect the Cumberland subdivision to the Cumberland Village shopping area. The city is also busy with stormwater projects, a future sewer upgrade and the long-awaited intersection improvement at Pylant Street and Hwy. 16, as well as plans for a trail to connect Seavy Street and Ivy Ridge.
“It’s just not a good time for us to try to fit that in,” Simmons said. The Peachtree City connection is a long-term project, he said. A lack of county funding is no longer seen as a problem.
As for the outdoor market, the city council has opposed the market because it conflicts with the city’s rules on open-air markets. A four-month moratorium on open-air markets that are not held on an improved parking lot was put in place in June.
“The citizens have spoken in favor of the return of the downtown farmers and outdoor market,” Pengelly said in an email Friday. “The ‘grandfathered’ Senoia Outdoor Marketplace looks forward to returning downtown once the moratorium is lifted.”