City of Decatur to purchase house owned by one of the city’s most vocal residents

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 18, 2016
Chris Billingsley. Source:

Chris Billingsley. Source:

The city of Decatur has agreed to buy a house owned by Chris Billingsley, a retired Decatur High social studies teacher and a frequent critic of the city.

City Commissioners approved the purchase at their Aug. 15 meeting. The property is located at 146 Norris Street and the purchase price is $385,000. The property is next to Glenlake Park.

“The purchase of 146 Norris Street will assure that no new residential use can be built in the park and provides the City with the opportunity to assess parking for the upper field and possibly construct a small pavilion and bathrooms on the site in the future,” a memo attached to the meeting agenda says. “We do not anticipate a use for the residential structure. Closing is set for Sept. 16, 2016.”

Attempts to reach Billingsley for comment have been unsuccessful.

He’s a history buff who has remained involved at the High School and community since his retirement, leading Memorial Day, Veterans Day and 9/11 remembrances. He’s also objected to some of the city’s policy initiatives, most notably its Community Action Plan to increase diversity in the city. Billingsley said the process of creating the plan was not transparent.

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