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Decatur planning chair presides over last meeting; commission learns about stormwater management

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Decatur planning chair presides over last meeting; commission learns about stormwater management

Decatur City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur Planning Commission’s December meeting was the last for Chair Harold Buckley. Buckley served on the Commission since 2015 and thanked his fellow members, including his former Vice Chair, Mike Travis. 

“I have been a member of this body since summer 2015 and I’ve done some stuff that folks may be happy about and some stuff that folks may be less happy about,” Buckley said. “And I get that but I feel like at the end of the day if I have done more good than harm then I have done a good job. It has been a thrill and an honor to serve the city of Decatur and I am already looking at what I can do next because you know I can’t be still, so thank you all.”

Travis is also no longer on the commission after moving from Decatur to the city of Atlanta.

“I was on commission for a long time, thoroughly enjoyed it. Had a great opportunity to influence a lot of what makes Decatur great and like you [Buckley] said some things good, some things bad,” Travis said. “So I encourage you guys to stick with your guns and do what you think is right, not always what’s popular.”

In addition to saying farewell to the two members, the commission also learned about the city’s Stormwater Master Plan and commission members asked questions about what initiatives from the plan had been implemented since its creation in 2020, specific definitions of terminology and potential proposals the commission could bring to further the plan’s initiatives. 

The stormwater plan involves regulating and mitigating runoff, which can cause environmental impacts, as well as general management of stormwater in public spaces and right of ways. 

Planning Commission member John McFarland quizzed Assistant City Manager Cara Scharer and Project Civil Engineer Jennings Bell about the plan and its connection to city ordinances and funding for inspections of underground stormwater tanks and infrastructure in the city. 

“Personally, I feel like that’s something that we can start to fix because we have no idea if those systems are being maintained until they fail,” McFarland said.

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