Preservation of affordable housing and reducing emergency vehicle response time on agenda for city council meeting
The next meeting of the Decatur City Council will take place on Monday, October 4 at 5:30 PM and will consist of eight agenda items including a grant for $1.5 million to preserve affordable housing, demolition of delipidated properties, modifications to the Enterprise Zone agreement, ending Decatur’s first TIF District, and purchasing 18 traffic signal preemption devices used by fire department vehicles.
The city will be receiving an additional $1,497,384 in HOME funds as part of the American Rescue Plan. This additional funding will be used for preservation of affordable housing, rental assistance, homeless prevention services, and purchase and development of non-congregate shelters. In separate action, the city council will likely approve contracts for the demolition of four properties as part of 11 properties ready for demolition.
The city council will likely approve the purchase of 18 additional traffic signal preemption devices to be used on Decatur Fire Department vehicles. The use of these devices reduces response times and reducing response times saves lives. Given the effectiveness of these devices, the ~$17 million in ARP funding the city received in 2021, and the greater than expected general fund revenues the city has received year-to-date, it is surprising that only 18 devices are being requested, particularly since even when the devices are installed, only 37 of the 50 originally planned devices will be in place.
An amendment to the Decatur Macon County Enterprise Zone Intergovernmental Agreement is being proposed. The amendment is designed to incentivize multifamily housing developments with >10 housing units with investment per unit ranging from $50,000-$250,000. The proposed amendment would also now exclude retail/commercial companies engaged in single family residential homes from property tax abatement. Given the low number of new single family residential homes built in Decatur in recent years, removing tax abatement incentives may be counterproductive to reversing the city’s population decline.
Established in 1997, the Southeast Plaza TIF district was Decatur’s first TIF District. Over the past 24 years, the commercial development in this TIF district on the south end of Decatur along Mt. Zion Rd. includes a movie theater, restaurants, a hotel, and a new residential subdivision. Equalized Assessed Value in the TIF has increased from $127,719 in 1997 to $3,361,247 in 2021. Thus, beginning next year and on an annual basis, there will be an additional $311,522 in property tax dollars shared by all taxing bodies (city of Decatur will receive ~$50,000).
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AT THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Meetings take place in the council chambers located on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center (1 Gary K. Anderson Place). Free parking is available in the lot immediately south of the entrance. Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and express their views. Citizens are allotted 3 minutes per person near the beginning of each city council meeting. In addition, citizens can provide comments regarding one regular agenda item per meeting for up to three minutes provided they notify the city in advance (and prior to the start of the meeting). You can request to speak on a particular agenda item at a council meeting by filling out an on-line form at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/advance-request-to-speak-at-council-meeting/.
CITIZENS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
If you would like to discuss city issues with a council member, phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/.
AGENDAS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE
An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/.