Decatur and Avondale Talk Annexation

After the Decatur City Commission officially unveiled its report last month that showed it had a hankering to annex a square mile of land to its north and east in an attempt to get property taxes under control, Avondale Estates metaphorically cleared its throat. “Perhaps”, the neighboring city said, “we might also like to annex some of that land.”

Townfolk and reporters gasped. Would this be a throwdown (Bobby Flay style) the likes we haven’t seen since the Battle of Atlanta? We have waited anxiously for the next move.

Well, apparently its much friendlier than we had first bloodthirstily speculated. The AJC reports

On Monday, Rieker and Avondale City Manager Clai Brown discussed annexation with Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd and City Manager Peggy Merrisson.

Under one plan, Avondale would annex commercial property along College Avenue west from its city line, while Decatur would add the businesses along College Avenue east from its current borders.

“It’s been a gentleman’s agreement between the two cities,” said Allan Kirwan, chairman of Avondale’s annexation committee. “It is a natural gateway for both cities.”

Officials in both cities described Monday’s meeting as preliminary and said there are no concrete agreements.

“I don’t know we’re ready to say where it would be yet,” Floyd said. “There is no question, if we’re going to do this, the point of the whole thing would be to have that area be incorporated into either the city of Avondale or the city of Decatur.”

A gentleman’s agreement eh? Quite a cordial reconciliation. Are you sure you don’t want to settle this with pistols at dawn? That would be a hell of a post!

But seriously, regardless of any agreement, residents of a proposed annexation area would have to provide a majority vote in favor come November for the annexation to become a reality.

(And AJC, for the last time…I have not heard the Decatur City Commission say it was “backing away” from annexation. Last I knew they were waiting for an evaluation from the school superintendent before moving forward.)

The other interesting tidbit in this article (if it can be trusted) is the idea originally raised by Commissioner Baskett at the commission meeting about only annexing commercial land and leaving out most residential; thus eliminating the problem of an influx of students.

If that were to occur, it would be a drastic shift from the original plan. We’ll have to keep an eye out for further developments.