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Decatur City Commission modifies allocation of funds for Legacy Park South Housing Village

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Decatur City Commission modifies allocation of funds for Legacy Park South Housing Village

Doug Faust (left) addresses questions from the Decatur City Commission about the funding for the South Housing Village at Legacy Park on Monday, March 6, at City Hall. Photo by Angela Walker.

By Angela Walker, contributor

Decatur, GA — At its March 6 meeting, the Decatur City Commission unanimously adopted a resolution to modify the allocation of funds for the South Housing Village at Legacy Park.

The affordable housing development will feature 132 units, made up of apartments, stacked flats and duplexes at the corner of South Columbia Drive and Katie Kerr Drive. The site of the development is about six acres.

The Decatur Housing Authority (DHA) is the project’s developer. During the meeting, DHA’s executive director, Doug Faust, mentioned that DHA would increase its investment to about $5 million from about $2.5 million due to rising construction costs.

As a result, DHA has requested that the two-part allocation of designated State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds be modified so that the designated funds will be allocated in the respective amounts of $3.17 million for the first phase of the project and $570,001 for the second phase of the project, rather than $2.4 million and $1.3 million, respectively.

On April 18, 2022, the city commission approved the design for the South Housing Village. In addition to the design, the city commission approved a resolution that outlines the city’s financial commitment to the project. The city will provide about $3.7 million for non-utility infrastructure improvements from the city’s American Rescue Plan funding allotment.

Since the city commission approved the resolution, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4) secured $750,000 in community project funding for site infrastructure for phase two of the South Housing Village. As a result, the city commission changed the funding allocation, so the community project funding can go toward development in phase two.

In other business:

— The city commission approved an alcoholic beverage license for Corner Slice for the consumption of beer, wine, and spirituous liquor on its premises. Additionally, Corner Slice is planning for outdoor seating.

— The city commission adopted an ordinance that establishes dates for property tax payments and sets deadlines for penalties and interest when late payments are made. Tax payments are due on June 1 and Dec. 20. The first installment of property tax bills will be mailed by April 1, to allow taxpayers 60 days to make their payments.

— After some discussion, the sanitation fee schedule for 2023 was adopted.

“The single-family residential fee amount of $305 per unit remains unchanged,” Assistant City Manager David Junger wrote in a memo. “Uncertainties with recycling plastics #3-7 as well as operating costs, continue to affect the recycling industry. However, our staff continues to work diligently to control these costs and provide quality service while maintaining the current fee.”

Additional unchanged fees include various bag prices of $1.40 for the 33-gallon (blue) bag; $.70 for the 5-gallon (yellow) bag; and, $.40 for the 8-gallon (green) bag. The commercial refuse container cubic yard charge remains unchanged at $4.25 per cubic yard. It was also recommended that the charge for collection of 95-gallon carts remain at $800 for one cart once per week and the charge for collection of 3 cubic yard containers remain at $1,210 for one cart serviced once per week.

The memo further highlights Decatur’s recycling program, which includes cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, jugs, metal, and glass, collected separately. Currently, material recovery facilities are accepting commingled recyclables that include plastics No. 1 and No. 2. The recycling program aims to create sustainable recycling practices and maximize waste diversion.

As a reminder, Junger mentioned that the solid waste division will continue to host events such as styrofoam recycling, electronics recycling, document shredding, and neighborhood cleanup days. Additionally, bulky items such as furniture and appliances are accepted free of charge as a part of regular residential sanitation pick-up and do not need to wait for a spring neighborhood cleanup day.

On July 1, the city is launching a pilot curbside organic collection program for single-family residents. About 250 volunteer residents will participate in the initial weekly compost collection program. Residents will receive training, education materials, and support from city staff to ensure the program launches successfully. Depending on the success of the pilot and local organics processor capacity, staff will assess the feasibility of launching the program citywide.

— The city commission approved the execution of a contract with Professional Probation Services, Inc. (PPSI) for probation supervision and rehabilitation services. Professional Probation Services, Inc. requested to increase the supervision fees by $5. PPSI has been providing the city of Decatur with probation services since 1994.

Since 2007, supervision fees have been set at $35 per month.

“In light of inflation, the significant increase in wages, and the other increased costs of providing probation services, PPSI is requesting to increase these fees to $40.00 on April 1, 2023. Supervision fees are paid by the offenders, and not the City,” Teresa de Castro, assistant city manager, said in a memo.

— The city commission approved a change order for storm water engineering design services for $159,290. This reflects an increase in the contract amount to $389,820 to AECOM Technical Services and an increase in the project budget to $400,000 for stormwater engineering design services.

“Work was initiated as an on-call project to design storm drainage improvements on Derrydown Way, Hilldale Drive, and South Columbia Drive. The design was expected to include green infrastructure, inlets, and pipes while minimizing other disturbances,” said Jennings Bell, project civil engineer in a recent memo. “Based on public comments and evaluation of the existing conditions, AECOM recommends an expanded scope to achieve the SWMP goals. The expanded scope includes re-building most roads, curbs, and driveway aprons in the project area to reduce cross-slopes, raise curb heights, and improve gutter capture to direct stormwater to the proposed infrastructure improvements. To account for the associated construction cost increases, phased implementation of the project will be necessary.”

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