77 Acre Children’s Home Property Sale Agreement Signed

From the City of Decatur…

On April 25, 2017, City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, the UMCH President and CEO, Rev. Hal Jones, and Debby Stikes, Chair of the UMCH Board of Trustees, met to sign the sale agreement for the $40 Million purchase of the approximately 77 acre UMCH property adjacent to the southeastern city limits of the City of Decatur.

Mayor Patti Garrett said, “We are so excited to keep this project moving forward and I am proud to be able to represent the Decatur City Commission in executing the contract that will start the process of making the purchase happen.”

Proceeds of the sale will support the UMCH mission in new communities according to Rev. Jones, who said “we are committed to reaching out to, and serving, the alarming and growing number of children and families who are in crisis. The sale of the Decatur property helps us expand this ministry across North Georgia.” Board Chair Debby Stikes added that “preserving the Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring was very important to the Board, to members of our alumni group, and to countless others across North Georgia who partner with us in this ministry. We are delighted with the City’s support in honoring the memories created on this property.”

It is anticipated that the UMCH will vacate the property by late summer or early fall, 2017. Once the City owns and takes possession of the property, the City will annex the acreage and begin a community-based master planning effort engaging nearby neighborhoods, UMCH alumni and other stakeholders to help determine a vision and plan for future use.

City In Active Discussions To Acquire Children’s Home’s 77 Acres

A reader reports that Mayor Patti Garrett announced at tonight’s State of the City that the city is in active discussions to acquire the United Methodist Children’s Home’s  77 acres.

More details when we have them.

UPDATE: Here’s a bit more info on this news from Decaturish.

 

Mayor Garrett Gives “State of the City” Address Next Tuesday, January 24th

The City of Decatur makes this announcement on their Facebook page

The community is invited to join at the Decatur Business Association first meeting of the year- Tuesday, January 24 at the Marriott Courtyard Decatur. City of Decatur’s Mayor, Patti Garrett, will give her State of the City Address during this meeting. Employee service pins and the Thomas O. Davis Award will also be presented at this time.

Networking reception will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting/address with begin at 6 p.m. RSVP to Tammy Washington at [email protected]

Permanent Drug Drop-Box Installed at Decatur Police Department

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From Decatur Police Lt. Jennifer Ross…

Through our partnership with DPI (Decatur Prevention Initiative) and the support of Mayor Patti Garrett, the Decatur Police Department has obtained a permanent drug drop-box through a grant made possible by CVS/pharmacy and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

The drug drop-box has been installed in the front lobby of the police department, located at 420 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030, to the right of the “Police” window in front of the elevator. You can now stop by at any time and drop expired, unused and unwanted medications into the drop box at your convenience.

Please do NOT drop needles or liquid medications into the drop-box.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/

Decatur Mayor Calls For Action After Most Substantial Senior Tax Relief Bill Is Tabled

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The City of Decatur just provided this release from Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett…

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 four of the five City of Decatur’s homestead tax exemption bills passed the Georgia House of Representatives.  With the previous adoption by the Georgia Senate on February 11, 2016, those four separate pieces of legislation will move forward for the Governor’s signature.  However, SB 343 that provided the most significant tax relief from school taxes to citizens 65 and older has been delayed to a later date upon a motion by Representative Beth Beskin of Fulton County.

Representative Mary Margaret Oliver who represents part of the City of Decatur challenged the motion arguing that Rep. Beskin’s efforts to punish Decatur’s older citizens based on Atlanta’s refusal to grant similar relief to seniors was pure partisan politics.  “I am hopeful we will be able to get over the partisan obstacle created solely by Representative Beskin. I believe the Republican leadership will ultimately be supportive of local control to support the success of the Decatur school system and good management,” said Rep. Oliver.  Rep. Beskin stated to Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett that her motion to table had nothing to do with Decatur or the legislation itself.

“The City of Decatur and the City Schools of Decatur appreciate all of the efforts of Decatur legislators who have worked hard to get these bills passed including Senator Elena Parent and Representatives Mary Margaret Oliver, Howard Mosby, Rahn Mayo and Karla Drenner,” said Mayor Garrett.  “Our delegation members understand the need for property tax relief, particularly for our seniors, and I hope the Republican leadership will also understand our position and consider the merits and value to the citizens of Decatur of the senior homestead tax exemptions.”  The homestead exemption legislation was supported by the Decatur City Commission and the Decatur Board of Education who were acting with the support of the residents of the City of Decatur, including members of the Lifelong Community Advisory Board, a very active group of senior homeowners and the business community.

“It is unsettling that legislation designed by Decatur’s elected officials for the benefit of Decatur’s senior citizens, that would have no impact on anyone other than Decatur residents, has been met with opposition,” said Board of Education Chair Annie Caiola, who added, “We encourage our residents to join us in voicing these sentiments to the Republican leadership. This also happened last year when Decatur’s proposed senior exemptions failed in the eleventh hour due to similar unprecedented maneuvers.  It is our sincere hope that CSD’s homestead exemption legislation will be quickly put back on track to pass.”

To voice your opinion about the City Schools of Decatur homestead exemption, please contact Rep. Beth Beskin ([email protected]); Rep. Jan Tankersley ([email protected]);  Rep. Jon Burns ([email protected]); Rep. Matt Ramsey ([email protected]);  Speaker of the House David Ralston ([email protected]); and, copy Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver ([email protected]).

Make sure they know that SB 343 would provide tax relief to senior property owners and that it is local legislation supported by the City Schools of Decatur, the Decatur City Commission and all of the members of the General Assembly that represent the City of Decatur.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Mayor Garrett Gives First “State of the City” Address Tomorrow Night

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From Mayor Patti Garrett’s blog, here are the details for tomorrow night’s “State of the City” Address…

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5:15-7 pm
Courtyard Marriott Hotel / Decatur Conference Center
130 Clairemont Ave. 

Annual State of the City address. 

Special guest Natasha Trethewey, former US Poet Laureate and Emory Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, will also be present to read the occasional poem she wrote for the tenth anniversary of the Decatur Book Festival in 2015.

Newly elected City Schools of Decatur chair, Annie Caiola, will also make some brief remarks about the upcoming school year as well.

Plus, enjoy refreshments, networking and announcements.

Mayor Jim Baskett Comments on Decatur Annexation Legislation

After we learned a few more details yesterday of the partial Decatur annexation legislation submitted by Georgia State Rep. Karla Drenner on Monday, we followed up for reaction from the Decatur City Commission to get their thoughts on the partial annexation and the new inclusion of the neighboring residential neighborhood of Decatur Terrace.

Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett responded this morning…

A lot is happening with our legislative agenda, and decisions are being made very quickly.
We did not have the option of moving forward with our overall map and plan.
The map that is before the legislature now has a great deal of commercial and is a large part of what we set out to annex.
Going forward we will see where we are at the end of this legislative session and determine how we will move forward with the rest of the plan. An updated annexation master plan report will be available after the session is over.

Commissioner Patti Garrett echoed the Mayor’s statements and emphasized that “we were unable to move forward with our original map but still have a significant amount of commercial property included and Representative Drenner requested the addition of Decatur Terrace.”  She added “I think we have all been made keenly aware that the legislative process for getting annexation considered is a complicated and complex process.”

I’m going to see if its possible to get a commercial/residential breakdown of the current partial annexation area.  Stay tuned.