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City Commissioners will consider allowing vote on borrowing $75 million for schools


City Commissioners will consider allowing vote on borrowing $75 million for schools

Decatur City Hall.
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Commissioners on June 1 will consider whether to place a $75 million general obligation bond referendum on the ballot this November.

The bond would be used to pay for school construction to meet the city school system’s enrollment needs. It would result in a tax increase.

Current City Schools of Decatur enrollment is 4,300 students. CSD consultants project it will be more than 6,000 by 2020.

City Commissioners would have to vote to place the issue on the ballot. If voters approve the request, it will increase property taxes by about 8 percent. According to an example provided by CSD, it would raise taxes on a $500,000 home by $680 per year.

Commissioners had promised School Board members they would approve the request for a bond during a work session about the system’s facility needs. City Commissioners and School Board members have held multiple joint meetings since 2013, when commissioners declined to put a referendum on the ballot that would’ve allowed the system to borrow $59 million. At the time, Mayor Jim Baskett said there was concern the bond referendum might not pass. In the intervening months, School Board members have received numerous presentations on the facilities enrollment needs and the system has held public input sessions on the system’s plans to expand Renfroe Middle and Decatur High.

In other business, commissioners will consider granting alcoholic beverage licenses to the following restaurants:

– Revival Decatur, 129 Church Street

– Las Brasas Peruvian Roasters 614 Church Street

– Rezagarse Tapas, 105 Sycamore Place, Suite 1.

The June 1 meeting begins at 7:30 pm and will be held at city hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.