City of Decatur, Decatur School Board plan to resume discussion about annexation

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 25, 2017

Members of the Decatur School Board and Decatur City Commission held a joint meeting on Oct. 12, 2016. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated. 

A year has gone by since the Decatur City Commission and the School Board discussed the possibility of annexing more property into the city.

When the School Board and City Commission last held a meeting on the topic a year ago, both agreed that they needed actual “annexation metrics” to measure the impact annexation would have on City Schools of Decatur enrollment. And that was the last time the two elected bodies held a public meeting on the topic.

But there is another joint meeting planned for Nov. 9 to discuss “annexation policy.” It will be held at City Schools of Decatur’s Central Office at 125 Electric Avenue. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said he doesn’t know of any new annexation plan under consideration. He noted that the city will annex the United Methodist Children’s Home campus, which it recently purchased, but that won’t affect school system enrollment.

Decatur City Commissioner Fred Boykin said he isn’t aware of any new annexation plan and said the meeting on Nov. 9 is likely a follow-up on the discussion that occurred a year ago.

“My recollection was the ball went back into the superintendent and his staff’s court,” Boykin said “That last meeting we had, we went over the methodology and the spread sheet. We were supposed to get them some numbers and we were supposed to get back together and review the result. I’m thinking we’re going to review the results.”

In June of 2016, city officials disclosed that any new annexation plan would likely have to include a residential annexation as well. In 2014, Decatur attempted to annex only commercial properties while excluding residential properties. The Legislature has since communicated that future annexation plans should include some residential component.

Decatur declined to prioritize annexation in the 2016 Legislative session and decided to focus on expanding tax breaks for seniors. The 2018 Legislative session starts on Jan. 8, 2018.

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