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Decatur City Commission will consider details of loan program, pool contract and bike lane easements

Business COVID-19 Decatur

Decatur City Commission will consider details of loan program, pool contract and bike lane easements

Decatur City Hall.
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UPDATE: The City Commission unanimously approved all of the agenda items mentioned in this article. Here is our earlier story …

Decatur, GA – The Decatur City Commission at its April 20 meeting will consider fleshing out its proposed small business loan program.

Commissioners will also consider awarding a pool management contract and using eminent domain to acquire construction easements for a bike lane on Church Street. The City Commission meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. It will be streamed online and commissioners will meet using Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People can view the meeting by visiting:

https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

Register in advance to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUsc-2ppzwtGdGcj1QVGm_7VqQ1h538r2yb. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

At its regular meeting on April 6, the Decatur City Commission approved a framework for a loan program to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city created a $500,000 business loan fund. Businesses can receive up to $25,000 through the program. The city contributed $400,000 and the other $100,000 will come from the Decatur Development Authority.

At the April 20 meeting, Commissioners will be asked to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city, the Development Authority and the nonprofit Decatur Legacy Project to implement the program. The Development Authority will manage the program and the nonprofit Legacy Project will raise funds to add to it. The city of Decatur will provide administrative assistance.

“The Decatur Legacy Project, a local 501 c3 corporation, has developed ‘Decatur United,’ a fundraising effort for on-line contributions that can be publicized immediately,” a memo from Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon says. “Individuals, corporations, institutions and others in the Decatur community will know that their donations will go directly to assisting our local businesses.”

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The Development Authority will appoint an oversight committee that will establish the qualifying criteria and standards for loan applicants. They will establish oversight and submission obligations for each borrower.

Appointees to the oversight committee will include:

– One representative of the Authority’s Board to be designated by the Authority’s Board

– One representative designated by the Board of the Legacy Project

– The Executive Director of the Authority

– One representative with a specialization in providing financial services to small, local restaurants, retail, and service establishments to be designated by the Authority

– One representative designated by the City Commission

“The Oversight Committee is also required to adopt bylaws governing ethics, conflict of interest, policies, and financial management controls that provide transparency, avoid or mitigate conflicts of interest, and ensure the appropriate expenditure of all loan and financing funds from the Small Business Loan Program,” Saxon’s memo says.

A summary of the program attached to the agenda provides additional details about who will qualify for the loans and how they will be repaid:

– Principal loan funding available in the amount of $5,000 per full-time continuous employee up to a maximum loan of $25,000 per business.

– Term of loan of forty-eight ( 48) months from the date of loan issuance

– Interest rate of 0 %

– Minimum monthly payments commencing twelve (12) months after the date on which the Governor’s Public Health State of Emergency expires or is terminated.

– Loans to be unsecured

– All incidental fees and costs to be paid from the Small Business Loan Program.

– The business must be physically located within the city limits of the City of Decatur;

– The business was in operation as of March 1, 2020.

– The business employed a minimum of two (2), but no more than thirty (30) full-time continuous employees as of March 1, 2020.

– The business had paid all taxes, fees and other assessments, including business license fees, occupation taxes, ad valorem taxes of March 1, 2020.

– There are no outstanding judgments against the business.

– There are no current proceedings in bankruptcy instituted by or against the business and no current assignment by the business for the benefit of creditors.

– There are no state or federal tax liens presently pending against the business

In other City Commission business:

– The City Commission will consider awarding two contracts to Dynamo Pool Management. 

One three-year $213,800 per-year contract will be to manage the Glenlake, McKoy, and Ebster pools. The other three-year contract will be $207,000 per year for management of the year-round operation of the Oakhurst indoor pool. Commissioners also are considering a contract that allows the city and Dynamo to share revenue from the Oakhurst pool.

“Dynamo will staff the pool with instructors to provide swim lessons and group youth and adult programming to the community,” a memo from Program Supervisor Jabari Cole says. “The city will receive 35% of all monthly gross revenues from swim lessons and 25% of all monthly gross revenues from other profitable aquatic programming. Since 2018, Dynamo has provided swim lessons to Boys and Girls Club children for no cost. The program has been a success and many children who could not swim are now swimming. The city has not incurred any additional cost with Dynamo providing this service in the community.”

The contract also addresses the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent the pool from opening on time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty when it comes to summer programming and facility operations,” Cole’s memo says. “In the event that the pools are not able to open on time, the city will only be responsible for the cost of chemicals and maintenance at the pools. Dynamo estimates that amount to be approximately $24,000 per month. Normally, payments to Dynamo are $64,740 per month in the summer.”

– The City Commission will be asked to use its power of eminent domain to acquire two temporary construction easements at 941 Church Street and 942 Church Street.

“The easements are necessary for construction of the Clairemont-Commerce-Church Street Pedestrian Safety and Bicycle Lane Improvements,” a memo from Deputy City Manager Saxon says. “At 941 Church Street, our right-of-way consultant has obtained a signed option for the easement but has not been able to close. At 942 Church Street, we have been unable to negotiate with representatives of the Marshall estate.”

The city needs 70 total easements before construction can begin. The parcels at those addresses are the only ones left that the city needs.

“This project will improve pedestrian safety at the intersections of Commerce Drive with Clairemont Avenue and Church Street and includes dedicated cycle tracks and new sidewalks on both sides of Church Street between Commerce Drive and Forkner Drive,” Saxon’s memo says. “Combined with the North McDonough and Commerce Drive cycle tracks, it will provide protected bike lanes from
the PATH Stone Mountain Trail along the CSX rail corridor to the northern city limits.”

The project budget is $6.2 million. MARTA will provide $400,000, GDOT and the Atlanta Regional Commission will provide $4.4 million and $1.4 million will come from local funds.

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