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Decatur DDA eyes $695k greenspace purchase

Annexation, new cities Decatur

Decatur DDA eyes $695k greenspace purchase

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Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodlands-Garden-of-Decatur/

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodlands-Garden-of-Decatur/

The city of Decatur’s Development Authority is asking the city commission to sign off on paying $695,000 to buy property to sell to a nonprofit for additional green space.

An intergovernmental agreement for the property purchase is on the city commission’s meeting agenda for Monday, Aug. 18. Under the terms of the deal, the DDA would purchase property at called the Merritt property, located at 915 Clairemont Avenue. The DDA has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Woodlands Garden, a nonprofit that oversees greenspace adjacent to the Merritt property.

“The City’s intergovernmental agreement with the DDA pledges the City’s full faith and credit if The Woodlands does not make the payments,” a memo from Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon says.

Under the MOU, Woodlands Garden would make the monthly interest-only payments to Private Bank of Decatur, which is financing the deal. Woodlands Garden would be required to purchase the property at the end of 18 months.

“If it fails to do so, the DDA can sell the property to any purchaser,” the meeting agenda says.

City Commissioner Fred Boykin said that Woodlands Garden has been trying to acquire the property for some time.

“It’s just a nice piece of greenspace,” Boykin said.

Woodlands started as the home of the Morse family in 1946, according to the park’s website. The family gave their 7.1 acres to the Decatur Preservation Alliance as a dedicated greenspace for the city.

Also on the city commission agenda: approval of a $25,000 contract with Sizemore Group for annexation Master Plan consulting services.

According to the agenda item, “The City of Decatur in cooperation with the City Schools of Decatur will undergo a master planning process this fall with the intention of providing a plan for consideration in November. We have put together a steering committee and will be scheduling public input sessions later this fall. City and school staff will perform technical analysis of revenues and expenditures in addition to analyzing future facility needs.”

The City Commission meeting begins at 7:30 pm and will be held at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public. There is also a work session at 6:00 pm.

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