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Decatur City Commission will discuss budget at May 18 meeting

COVID-19 Decatur Tucker

Decatur City Commission will discuss budget at May 18 meeting

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Decatur City Hall.


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

Decatur, GA – The Decatur City Commission at its May 18 regular meeting will discuss the revisions to the current year’s budget and the upcoming budget for the next fiscal year.

It will likely be the public’s first glimpse at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the city’s finances. Another local government — Tucker — has already lowered its revenue projection for the upcoming year.

The City Commission agenda didn’t contain any documents related to the budget. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held virtually. People interested in viewing the meeting have the following options:

– View the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at:


– Register in advance to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting at  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEsduGtrjgrH91HJyGdDGV6k84wAX_-oFW0.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

– If you are unable to participate in the virtual meeting, you may email your “public comments” on agenda items or submit “requests and petitions” by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18 to: Andrea Arnold, City Manager, [email protected]

In other business on the City Commission’s agenda:

– The City Commission will consider adopting the tentative 2020 millage rates. The City Commission plans to adopt a millage of 13.92, which will be the same as the current millage rate.

“In 1999, the Georgia General Assembly enacted what is commonly referred to as the ‘Truth in Taxation’ legislation,” a memo from City Manager Andrea Arnold says. “The purpose of the legislation is to require local governments to either rollback the millage rate equal to the total value of reassessments on real property; or, to provide advertisements, notice and public hearings if the local government intends to adopt a millage rate in excess of the ‘rollback’ rate.  We have not received the report from the county with the value of reassessments.

“If the proposed millage rate of 13.92 mills exceeds the rollback rate, a series of public hearings must be held and the calculated increase must be advertised.  If required, those public hearings will be held on Monday, June 8, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, June 15, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.”

The city has received a preliminary property tax digest from the county’s Board of Tax Assessors.

“While it is still subject to change, the report shows an increase of 7% in the 2020 real property digest,” Arnold said. “The 2020 digest reflects the values of all properties in the city as of January 1, 2020. The proposed fiscal year 2020-2021 budget has been developed using an estimate of a 5% increase in the digest which may be closer to the final digest after corrections and appeals.”

– The City Commission will consider approving a Neighborhood Traffic Calming Plan for the Parkwood Neighborhood. 

The plan includes traffic calming measures – like speed tables – and intersection improvements. To see the full plan, click here.

– The City Commission will consider awarding a $1.75 million contract to H.E.H. Paving of Atlanta for milling and repairing local streets. 

The streets in this year’s repair and repaving program are:

– E Benson St/W Benson St from Oakview Road to Dead End

– Wilton Drive from Clairemont Avenue to Oakland Street

– Greenwood Avenue from W College Avenue to Dead End

“In addition to the original list approved by the City Commission as part of the 2019 street paving program, this project includes sidewalk repairs on streets listed above, and work at other locations including installation of traffic calming measures (speed tables and median islands) and re-striping,” a memo from Project Civil Engineer Jennings Bell said. “Speed tables will be replaced and medians installed on East Parkwood Road, West Parkwood Road, Parkwood Lane, and Upland Road. New speed tables will be installed on Midway Road. Striping will be refreshed on portions North McDonough Street, North Candler Street, East Ponce de Leon Avenue, and Sycamore Street”

– The City Commission will consider updating the city’s pandemic leave policy to remove language allowing part-time employees to be paid throughout departmental closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The impact of this policy revision is a furlough of 22 part-time employees,” a memo from Assistant City Manager Teresa Taylor says. “The HR office will initiate unemployment claims for these employees and will help them through the unemployment process.”

That number is up by two from the city’s May 12 announcement that it would be furloughing 20 part-time employees.

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