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Governor signs bill intended to help city of Decatur buy Children’s Home property

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Governor signs bill intended to help city of Decatur buy Children’s Home property

The former United Methodist Children's Home campus in Decatur. The campus is now called Legacy Park. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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The United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The city of Decatur is one step closer to making an offer on the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s Home property.

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed Senate Bill 124 which allows the city of Decatur to create a Public Facilities Authority,  Mayor Patti Garrett confirmed.

The Authority would consist of five members appointed by the City Commission.

Garrett said the city hopes to appoint members to the Public Facilities Authority soon. The Public Facilities Authority would be a “quasigovernmental agency” that the city could use to buy property for public use.

The Public Facilities Authority would be able to borrow money to buy the property without having to ask voters to approve it in a referendum. The city intends to use the board to make an offer on the property.

The UMCH board recently voted to sell its Decatur campus on South Columbia Drive.

The city is considering the purchase of the 77-acre property as a public amenity and would incorporate the sports fields, pool and gymnasium as part of the city’s Active Living Department. The property value is estimated to be somewhere north of $30 million.

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