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City of Decatur to purchase property on North Parkwood Road for greenspace

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City of Decatur to purchase property on North Parkwood Road for greenspace

The Decatur City Commission, at its April 3 meeting, will consider purchasing the property at 1010 N. Parkwood Road. Photo courtesy of the city of Decatur.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission, at its April 3 meeting, approved the purchase of the property at 1010 N. Parkwood Road for $400,000. The land would be used to expand greenspace in the Westchester Hills neighborhood.

At the March 6 city commission meeting, resident Phillip McGinnis, president of the Westchester Hills Neighborhood Association, asked the city commission to consider purchasing the property and preserve it as greenspace. 

The property is one lot that’s about half an acre. It’s located next to the city’s Hidden Cove Park. 

“The property contains one single family home and the rest of the property is undeveloped with mature trees and other vegetation,” City Manager Andrea Arnold wrote in a memo. “Acquisition of this property will afford the City the opportunity to expand public greenspace. This recommendation is consistent with many city of Decatur master plans including the 2020 Strategic Plan, Storm Water Master Plan and the recently adopted Parks and Recreation Master Plan.”

The city has funds available in the general fund to cover the cost. Closing is anticipated by mid-May. 

In other business: 

– The city commission awarded a contract to Hasbun Construction for $537,523 for construction of phase two of the South Columbia Drive mixed-use path project, and establishing a project budget of $680,000. The board also awarded a contract to AECOM Technical Services for $27,650 for construction administration services. 

The mixed-use path will be a 10-foot wide concrete pedestrian and bicycle path with a five-foot landscape buffer. The project will eliminate an existing gap in the sidewalk system and provide a safe walking route to Legacy Park. 

“Phase 2 will begin where Phase 1 ended, at the school’s maintenance driveway, and extend southeast along South Columbia Drive approximately 800 feet, to the first driveway entrance at Legacy Park,” Project Civil Engineer Jennings Bell wrote in a memo. “Constructing the path will require the curb to be shifted, narrowing South Columbia Drive and eliminating turn lanes at the Derrydown Way intersection.”

– The city commission appointed the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office to conduct the municipal elections in the fall. Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Commissioner George Dusenbury and Commissioner Lesa Mayer are up for reelection. School board members James Herndon and Tasha White are also up for reelection this year. 

– The commission amended the pay and classification plan to reclassify a communications lieutenant position to a non-sworn E911 communications manager position.

– The city commission accepted an annexation petition for 1121 and 1123 Clairmont Road to begin the formal annexation process. The city commission will likely make a final decision on the application in May. 

– Assistant City Manager David Junger has been promoted to serve as the next deputy city manager.

Junger has worked for the city since 1990 when he joined the police department. During his public safety career, he served the city for 15 years and was the deputy police chief. In 2006, Junger became the assistant city manager for public works.

“David represents the highest standards of public service,” City Manager Andrea Arnold said. “David is committed to ethics and integrity in his service to our organization and to our community. He’s no stranger to our community.”

She added that Junger takes the time to get out in the community, listen to concerns and problem solve.

“We’re fortunate to have his leadership in this new role, and I’m looking forward to the years to come,” Arnold said.

Junger added that he appreciates this opportunity.

“It’s an honor,” Junger said. “I take a lot of pride in working for the city.”

– Decatur earned the 2022 Tree Cities of the World recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There were 168 cities from 21 countries that received this recognition.

– The city and City Schools of Decatur are hosting an open house for the design of the track and field at Legacy Park. The open house will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, in Hawkins Dining Hall at Legacy Park, 500 S. Columbia Drive.

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