Council Talks Neighborhood Revitalization, Infrastructure Improvements

The groundwork has been laid to move forward with plans to revitalize the city’s neighborhoods with demolitions to take down dilapidated structures and programs to help revitalize properties that can be saved set to kick off this year.

That was the message from City Manager Tim Gleason to members of the Decatur City Council Monday night during a study session to discuss ongoing neighborhood redevelopment efforts. While final plans are still being formulated, the discussion centered about taking a strategic, targeted approach to demolition and rebuilding problem properties as part of a comprehensive program in an effort to make sure that the city makes the best use of taxpayer dollars going forward.

“Simply demoing properties could be seen as being very short cited and simply turning vacant lots into side-lots, while better than doing nothing, doesn’t match the opportunities we have (if we proceed strategically).”

While the council has previously discussed options for financing up to $1 million in demolitions and programs, an opportunity could exist to secure upwards of $2 million or more to make a bigger impact in a shorter amount of time. While Monday’s session was held to gather additional council input and no final decision has been made, M, Gleason stressed that the City will be moving forward with demos and rebuilding programs in 2017.

In other business, Council members voted unanimously in support of $2.3 million in water main replacement work to include the installation of new water mains, fire hydrants, valves and services south of Garman Park off of Ravina Park Road, and Turner Drive off of East Cantrell.

Contact Billy Tyus at 217-424-2727 for more information.