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The City of Decatur uses multiple channels to relay information to the community, especially during an emergency. These range from the low-tech (e.g. Decatur Focus newsletter and signs posted on city buildings) to the latest social media apps. Here are the major ways the city currently communicates during an emergency:

Do you use any or all of the above? Do you have one outlet you like best? The city is interested in learning more about how residents and business owners prefer to receive communication. Visit, http://www.decaturga.com/whats-new/open-city-hall#peak_democracy to provide your input.

Decatur will host its sixth and final Open Office Hour of the year with Commissioner Brian Smith on Thursday, October 26 from 7 – 8 p.m. Commissioner Smith will speak for approximately 15-20 minutes on the topic of the role of youth in the City of Decatur as well as development.

The community is invited to tune in to watch and listen and will be able and encouraged to submit questions related to the topic live via Twitter, Facebook, email or phone. If you already have a question in mind, submit it on Open City Hall now, http://www.decaturga.com/whats-new/open-city-hall.

*This question will close at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 26. After this time, questions can be submitted live via Twitter, Facebook, email or phone beginning at 7 p.m. (Details will be posted right before the meeting).*

When: Thursday, Oct. 26 • 6-8 p.m.

Where: Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St.

You are invited to attend the first public workshop to help kick off preparation of Decatur’s Community Transportation Plan (CTP) Update. Beginning in October, the city will conduct public workshops to identify various mobility needs and to take a deep look at the state of mobility in Decatur. We want to hear from those who work, live, and recreate in the community.

All participants are encouraged to bring their ambitious goals to the kick-off and other input opportunities. Input opportunities are designed to be easy, informative and fun for everyone to discuss the future of all modes of transportation, identify current and future needs, make short- and long-term recommendations, and develop a vision for new mobility options and improvements throughout the city.

Public input is a large part of the Decatur’s CTP Update. Through this plan, we want to address the equity, sustainability, and active living community goals in Decatur’s 2010 Strategic Plan, as well as build off the framework of Decatur’s 2007 CTP: Decatur Gets Around. Decatur has hired the professional consultant team of jB+a, a division of Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon, Inc., and Toole Design Group to assist in the plan update.

Stay informed on the CTP Update by watching the city’s website and future issues of the Decatur Focus for project information and meeting announcements. For more information, contact Angela Threadgill, 678-553-6575, or angela.threadgill@decaturga.com, or visit DecaturNext.com.

Decatur SPLOST FAQ’s

SPLOST

*The following information is intended for educational purposes only*

WHAT IS A SPLOST?

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) was enacted in 1985. The SPLOST was conceived and enacted as a county tax for funding capital projects. It is not a municipal tax, nor is it a joint county-municipal tax like the regular Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). As a county tax, a SPLOST can only be initiated by the board of commissioners.

 

WHAT IS A HOST AND EHOST?

In the 2015 Georgia Legislative Session, HB215 was adopted that provided an option to suspend the existing Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST), replace it with an Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST), and add a one-cent Special Purpose Option Sales Tax.

The current HOST uses 80% of its proceeds to fund homestead exemptions from all County property tax funds except debt service for bonds and schools for taxpayers in owner-occupied, single family residences.  This produces a differential benefit between unincorporated and incorporated DeKalb County taxpayers.   To minimize the differential, cities receive a distribution from the 20% of HOST proceeds set aside for capital improvements.  With the incorporation of new cities, the County receives almost no capital funding from HOST proceeds.

If EHOST replaces the HOST, then 100% of the proceeds from EHOST would fund homestead exemptions from DeKalb County property tax funds for general county operations and the hospital authority in owner-occupied, single family residences.  This eliminates the differential benefit between unincorporated and incorporated DeKalb County taxpayers because all taxpayers pay the same tax rates for these services.

Currently, HOST revenue to the City covers debt service payments for improvements to Fire Station #1, Decatur Recreation Center, Public Works building and the Beacon Municipal Complex in addition to funding some capital projects.  If EHOST is approved, the HOST funding would be eliminated. If approved, the SPLOST proceeds would replace the HOST funding.

 

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DECIDING HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE SPENT?

The Legislation, SB 156, determines how the SPLOST proceeds must be spent and DeKalb will comply with the rules included in the legislation.

 

WHEN WAS DEKALB SPLOST BILL PASSED?

The SPLOST bill was passed by the Georgia General Assembly on March 30, 2017.

 

WHEN DID THE GOVERNOR SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW?

Senate Bill 156 (SPLOST/EHOST Bill) was signed by Governor Deal on May 8, 2017.

 

HOW LONG CAN A SPLOST LAST?

Several factors determine the length of time that a SPLOST may be imposed. In general, the tax may be levied for up to five years. If the county and municipalities enter into an intergovernmental agreement, the tax may be imposed for six years.

 

WHO ESTABLISHED THE REVENUE ESTIMATES FOR SPLOST?

The county is responsible for estimating the SPLOST revenues expected to be collected over the life of the SPLOST, as well as the costs of all projects to be financed.

 

HOW MUCH DETAIL IS REQUIRED IN THE SPLOST REFERENDUM?

The SPLOST law requires that the purpose or purposes (i.e., the capital outlay projects) for which SPLOST revenues will be used be written on the ballot. The degree of specificity is left to the county or municipality imposing the SPLOST.

 

WILL SPLOST, EHOST AND HOST BE ON THE BALLOT?

YES.  Citizens will vote on whether to approve a SPLOST and whether to suspend HOST and replace it with an EHOST.

 

HOW WILL THE EHOST AFFECT THE CITY’S BUDGET?

If the referendum passes, the impact on the city’s budget will be manageable because the estimated SPLOST funding is only slightly less than the current HOST funding.  In addition, the current HOST funding is anticipated to decline with the addition and growth of cities in DeKalb.  In summary, the referendum includes a vote on replacing HOST with an EHOST (Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax) and the imposition of a SPLOST.  The EHOST should reduce county taxes for City of Decatur taxpayers in owner-occupied, single family residences.  The SPLOST would serve to replace the city’s current HOST revenue.

 

WHAT CAN THE FUNDS BE SPENT ON?

Roads & Transportation projects, Public Safety projects, and Capital Outlay Projects.

 

WILL THERE BE A LIST OF PROJECTS?

Yes, the Decatur City Commission approved the list of projects on September 18, 2017.  If the SPLOST is approved, proceeds allocated to the City of Decatur will be used for the following projects:

• improvements to the Atlanta Avenue/West Howard Avenue/West College Avenue intersection, which is the last intersection improvement project from the 2007 Community Transportation Plan,

• bicycle, pedestrian and traffic calming improvements,

• and debt service on recent city facility improvements.

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On November 15, the City of Decatur and Decatur Development Authority will host a Small Scale Real Estate Development Workshop.  Get a big picture view of small scale real estate development.  The Workshop offers specialized training about how to create small projects, like 1-3 story buildings with less than 20 units, which are residential, commercial or mixed use. The Workshop is a day-long session designed to introduce the principles and implementation mechanisms behind neighborhood based development projects.  The course assumes you know a lot about where you live, but not necessarily much about the real estate process or building development. Discover where you need help and meet the people who can help you. Through presentations on finance, design and site selection, a hands-on practice exercise, and networking with local like-minded people, this workshop is the first step to becoming a small developer yourself or creating a supportive ecosystem for small development in your city.
WHAT: Small Scale Real Estate Development Workshop

WHEN: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

WHERE: Courtyard by Marriott, 130 Clairemont AvenueDecatur, GA, 30030

COST: Early Bird Registration Rate ($185) Concludes Friday, October 20, 2017
Regular Registration Rate ($215) Concludes Friday, November 10, 2017
Last Minute Registration Rate is ($245)

Register today at http://www.incrementaldevelopment.org/events/decatur2017

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals in construction, design, planning or real estate looking to either enhance their current practice or make career transition
  • Volunteers or professionals in business associations, main streets associations, historic preservation groups and neighborhood improvement groups looking to champion incremental development in their communities
  • Public sector professionals in city management, economic development, planning, and related agencies who are looking to make it easier for small development projects to occur in their town
  • Professionals in non-profit development organizations, churches, and community development or housing development organizations who need new strategies for small lot development
  • Private banking professionals specializing in mortgages, commercial real estate loans or SBA loans and professionals as at Community Development Financial Institutions and Community Foundations who want to become more effective investors

A limited number of scholarships* for the workshop are available, apply here! 

*Please note to be eligible for a scholarship you need to be a resident, business owner, or property owner of Decatur.

Choose from 22 participating Decatur restaurants throughout the day on Tuesday, October 17. The restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project. Visit the Project website for links to restaurants’ websites and more information about the volunteer Project.

Restaurants for Repairs – Raise a Fork! Fix a Home!

This is a weekly blog post that lists all of the events and sales going on around town. It will be updated daily. If you would like to add an event, email renae.madison@decaturga.com.

Sunday, Oct. 15

Tuesday, Oct. 17

 Thursday, Oct. 19

Saturday, Oct. 21

Weather permitting, TPA Development Group  is planning to begin paving on Hillyer Place between East Howard Avenue and Commerce Drive Tuesday, Oct 10 .  The work will occur during the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is expected to take 3 days.

During that time, parking on the street will not be possible.  Traffic control will be provided by TPA, with detours for through traffic, if necessary.  Access to residences and businesses on Hillyer Place will be maintained during construction, but please plan ahead for possible traffic disruptions.

This is a weekly blog post that lists all of the events and sales going on around town. It will be updated daily. If you would like to add an event, email renae.madison@decaturga.com.

Sunday, Oct. 8

 Tuesday, Oct. 10

Wednesday, Oct. 11

Saturday, Oct. 14

Road Closure

Sycamore DetourA road closure on Sycamore Street will be implemented Monday,  October 9 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Georgia Power will be performing an upgrade that will affect the traffic signal at the intersection of Church St and Sycamore St.