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City Commission approves street repaving, sidewalk design, Beacon Hill art project


City Commission approves street repaving, sidewalk design, Beacon Hill art project

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Decatur City Hall


Decatur, GA — In addition to discussing affordable housing at Legacy Park, City Commissioners on Sept. 8 also approved repaving streets, sidewalk design, appointments to the Decatur Youth Council, and Beacon Hill Alliance’s “Art for the People” project.

A street resurfacing project partially funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement (LMIG) program was approved by the Commission, which will allow .85 miles of Sycamore Drive and .17 miles of Merrill Avenue to be repaved, following approval of the FY 2021-2022 city budget. The city’s prioritization of streets is based on the city-wide pavement assessment performed in June 2019. 

The Commission also approved a concept plan for a new sidewalk on the west side of Shadowmoor Drive and the north side of Hilldale Drive. New sidewalk design concepts will help provide a safer route to city schools, eliminate gaps in the sidewalk system, and prioritize areas of high pedestrian and traffic volumes.

A number of young leaders were appointed and re-appointed to the Decatur Youth Council, a city-sponsored, community-based leadership program for high school students who live within the City of Decatur and attend public, private, and home-based schools. Members of the DYC participate in structured monthly educational programs and team-building activities. The commissioners approved these appointments.

Re-appointed members are Sage Arnold, Lily Bulson, Sydney Fessenden, Erin Gaul, Sammy Mulatu, Salmoncain Smith-Shomade, Charlie Wheelock, Ivie Wildman, and Alden Wright. Newly appointed members are Amani Saleem, Ana Villavasso, Miles Moorfield, William Stone, Lauryn Williams, Bahiyyih Grant, and Flora Burdette.

Commissioners approved Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights’ request for a $5,000 contribution from the city’s Anti-Racism budget towards the Alliance’s “Art for the People” project. 

“In accordance with Beacon Hill’s mission to empower, advocate, educate, and organize those affected by systematic racism, the Beacon Hill Confederate Monument Committee is working with the Decatur Makers to construct a piece of public artwork that will serve as a sign of progress and recognition of the long journey ahead towards racial justice,” the Alliance’s August 17 proposal reads.

The goal of the project is to “Empower Black and Indigenous artists by providing them with a platform on which they can represent their culture, advocate for racial justice through art that will catalyze racial dialogue in the community, educate residents about the history of white supremacy and colonialism in Georgia, and organize the community to fight for concrete change in Decatur.”

“To do this, Beacon Hill has partnered with Decatur Makers, the Decatur Arts Alliance, and others to facilitate the design and fabrication of an affirmative piece of artwork to serve as a public form of cultural education and a catalyst for racial dialogue in the community. We consider this to look like work that affirms the strength and essence of a group of people by highlighting their ingenuity and internal brilliance,” the proposal reads.

The Alliance hopes to select and announce an artist during September and October 2020, fabricate the art throughout November, December, and January, and reveal the artwork during Black History Month in February 2021. Their total fundraising goal for the project is $40,000. 

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