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Additional school resource officer may be coming to Decatur Public Schools

The number of Decatur Police Officers serving as school liaisons at Decatur Public Schools will increase from 4 to 5 beginning in the 2024-2025 school year when approved by the Decatur City Council at its meeting June 3.  Under the agreement, the school district will pay 75% of the total cost of the 5 officers.  It is good to see the city of Decatur and Decatur Public Schools collaborating to support the needs of the district and its students. 

The Decatur City Council is likely to grant authorization for the city to borrow $16.5 million for the Oakland and Grand sewer separation project.  The loan will come from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Pollution Control Loan program at an interest rate that is currently 1.81%. 

The Oakland and Grand sewer separation project needs to be completed.  However, the city council selected a more costly option for the project’s completion when arguably less costly options that provided more benefits were available.  For example, creating a large retention basin to hold storm water is less expensive, can hold more water reducing flooding risk, and many municipalities have found ways to use retention basins during times when there is no water in the basin (e.g., creation of a skate park).  Given the city’s declining population and its projected revenue shortfall this year, it is appropriate for citizens to ask whether continuing to select more expensive option for projects is sustainable, particularly when there are less expensive options that may better meet the city’s needs. 

Horn for Decatur
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