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Decatur City Commission will discuss ‘Black Lives Matter’ painting, real estate

COVID-19 Decatur

Decatur City Commission will discuss ‘Black Lives Matter’ painting, real estate

Decatur City Hall
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Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission at its Aug. 3 meeting will discuss a proposal to paint “Black Lives Matter” on North McDonough Street.

The City Commission is also holding a closed-door meeting called an executive session to discuss real estate. While the details aren’t known, city leaders were recently made aware of an opportunity to buy the Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club in Oakhurst, which is shutting down due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Decatur can make an offer on the property due to the terms of a lease agreement with the club.

The executive session starts at 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by a work session at 6:45 p.m. and a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. The work session and regular meeting are open to the public.

Due to the pandemic, the meeting will be conducted virtually.

Here’s more information about how to view and participate in the meeting, provided by the city of Decatur:

View the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at 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/j/96235825754. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

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, August 3 to: Andrea Arnold, City Manager, andrea.arnold@decaturga.com

At the City Commission’s July 20 meeting, commissioners said they would be interested in painting “Black Lives Matter” on North McDonough Street. A memo from City Manager Andrea Arnold says three black artists have committed to the developing designs. Each artist would tackle a different word.

The artists selected by the city are George F. Baker III, Petie Parker, and Sharanda Wilburn.

“The painting is scheduled to occur over the weekend of August 22 and 23, 2020 on North McDonough between Trinity Place and Howard Avenue,” Arnold wrote. “An estimated budget of $16,000 includes: artists’ fees $7,500, stencil, paint and paint supplies $5,000, PPE/sanitation supplies $1,000, and contingency $2,500. Funding is available in the general fund budget.”

Community members also will be invited to participate.

“Upon approval of the designs and project budget, the community will be invited to sign up for volunteer shifts to paint each letter,” Arnold wrote. “The number of volunteers per shift will be limited and there will be strict safety protocols in place including requirements for physical distancing of non-household members, mask use and disinfecting of supplies.”

The details of the executive session concerning real estate matters are not public, but this will be the City Commission’s first meeting following the announcement that the Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club in Oakhurst will shut down after nearly 50 years in operation. The city of Decatur leases the indoor pool at the Boys & Girls Club. As part of the 10-year lease, signed in 2016, the city was given a right of first refusal if the property was ever put on the market.

In other business, the City Commission is considering an agreement with Peachtree Recovery Services, Inc. to provide property damage recovery services to the city.

Ash Kumar, Local Government Management Fellow with Decatur, explained in a memo that, “Damage to city properties such as fire hydrants, pavements, signs, guardrails, athletic facilities, etc., occurs on a frequent basis. Usually, insurance companies set aside funds for such damages, but most local government agencies do not have the time and capacity to investigate such accidents internally.”

 

Peachtree Recovery Services would allow the city to collect funds to cover these repairs.

“The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) partnered with [Peachtree Recovery Services] to create a revenue recovery program and negotiated the agreement on behalf of the cities of Georgia,” Kumar wrote. “Through this program, PRS accesses Georgia’s traffic report database to capture all instances where an accident has occurred within the city limits to identify estimated damages. Based on the traffic accident reports, PRS initiates a claim on behalf of the city. The agency has the ability to identify and track down the responsible parties. After negotiating, settling, and resolving claims, PRS receives funds from the responsible parties (or insurance companies), retains a fee of sixteen and one-half percent (16.5%) and remits the remaining funds to the city every month.”

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