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The City of Decatur is partnering with Trees Atlanta to establish a front yard tree program. Residents pay a $25 application fee and Trees Atlanta will plant a tree in their front yard and maintain the tree for 2 years. This is a great way to replace canopy lost from recent storms. Homeowners will be able to choose from a list of trees suitable for our area. Please visit the Front Yard Tree page at Trees Atlanta to apply. There are a limited number of trees in the first year of the program and it will be first come, first served.

The Roundtables process included 800 registrants who contributed thousands of comments. Many of these comments about Decatur’s future were in agreement, but some topics revealed conflicting perspectives about how Decatur should chart its course for the next ten years. 

The 202s will allow for a deep dive on these topics. After hearing from subject matter experts, we will join together in virtual discussion groups to help understand tradeoffs and find common ground among differing perspectives. Input from these groups will be used to form recommendations on how the Strategic Plan should address these issues. The 202s will seek to answer the question: “What does success look like in a community of 25K people within a metropolitan region of nearly 6 million people?” 

Here’s the line-up: 

Mobility

Thursday, Nov. 19, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Housing

Thursday, Dec. 10, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Equity & Racial Justice

Thursday, Jan. 14, 4 – 5:30 p.m. 

Climate Change

February 2021, Date TBD 

Speakers will be announced closer to the event. Visit decatur2030.com for all details. All events will occur on Zoom and will be recorded and available after the meeting. To participate, you may register at decatur2030.com.  

Can’t make it at the scheduled time but still want to be part of the conversation? Watch the recordings, download the discussion guides, and form a small group to discuss the questions. Discussion notes may be submitted at decatur2030.com/get-connected/ or decaturdestination@gmail.com.

The City of Decatur and the Decatur Development Authorities (DDA) have announced the creation of a small business grant program in response to the financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $400,000 will be granted from funding made available to the local government through the CARES Act.

Any small business in Decatur employing between one and 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees is eligible, so long as they were open and operational as of March 1, 2020. Depending on various factors in the application process, including the number of full-time employees, eligible businesses will be considered for a grant of up to $25,000.

The grants are being administered by the DDA, and businesses interested in applying are encouraged to visit Decatur’s business resources webpage for updates and for the grant guide. The online portal to submit an application will open at 8:00 a.m. on November 11, 2020, and the deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m. on November 25, 2020. In the event that the grant fund is over-subscribed, a lottery method will be used to select which businesses from the group of qualified applicants will receive the grant. Grant distributions are expected by the end of December.

The DDA has also created an interactive webpage detailing which local businesses are remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic and their updated operating hours, which can be accessed through DecaturGA.com.

The Decatur City Commission has established a Non-Profit Grant Program using federal CARES Act funds to provide assistance to local non-profit organizations for needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $300,000 of funding is available. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Individual grant awards will be available in amounts between $5,000 and $25,000. Non-profits must be tax-exempt organizations pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Non-profit organizations with a maximum number of up to 30 full-time equivalent employees (FTE) would be eligible. A City staff selection committee will evaluate applications and recommend grants for approval to the City Commission. A blind lottery process to select grantees will be used if applications for assistance are oversubscribed.

Key Dates

November 16: Applications due by 5:00 pm

December 7: Grants approved by City Commission

December 16: Grant agreements and related documentation executed​

December 18: Grant funds disbursed

Information about the program and applications are available at decaturga.com/ems/page/covid-19-updates.

This Week in Decatur

  • Join the American Legion Auxiliary Harold Byrd Unit 66, along with American Legion Post 66 and the Friends of Decatur Cemetery to commemorate Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11 at 11 a.m. In compliance with City of Decatur directives, attendees should wear masks and seating will be distanced around the Memorial Stone near the Church Street entrance. Also, to comply with social distancing, the traditional placing of flags by volunteers on each veteran’s grave will be replaced with a display of flags at both the Commerce Drive and Church Street entrances.
  • Saint Thomas More Catholic School will participate in an online program, during which all servicemen and women and veterans affiliated with the school or church will be invited to join the students online to honor them for Veterans Day on November 11. Students have collected and displayed photos of veterans on the school bulletin board and will sell flags displayed on the front lawn of the church. The proceeds from this flag sale will raise money for Spikes K9 Fund, spikesk9fund.org.

This Weekend in Decatur

  • Decatur’s Core Dance is using its Sycamore Street storefront as a screening room for REEL ART: Speak, a series of film and video works highlighting and magnifying the voices of Black and indigenous artists of color. The outdoor screenings can be viewed responsibly, recognizing social-distance guidelines. Speak is on view outside of the Core Dance studio, 133 Sycamore St., throughout the weekends until Nov. 15, starting at 7 p.m. each Friday night. For a list of works currently on view, visit coredance.org/reel-art.
  • The Community Center of South Decatur and the Solarium are partnering with LifeSouth for another community blood drive. The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. All donors will receive a complimentary COVID-19 antibody test, cholesterol screening and promotional gift with their donation. Visit donors.lifesouth.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/676757 to schedule your donation and help save the lives of people right here in our community.
  • On Saturday, November 7 L’Arche Atlanta will be giving out more than 70 CONNEXIONS tote bags full of items for their virtual CONNEXIONS weekend events! The community is invited to join the virtual Gratitude meet-up on Sunday, November 8 at 2 p.m. Visit larcheatlanta.org/connexions for more information.
  • The Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College presents the Searching for Home Art Exhibition open 10 a.m.-4 p.m through November in the Dana Fine Arts Building at 141 East College Ave. The exhibition, made possible by the Margaret Virginia Philip Art Endowment Fund, will be available virtually and in-person by appointment. Searching for Home is on view through December 12. Find more information and book your visit today at daltongallery.agnesscott.org.
  • Clue Town designed an all new full-length puzzle hunt in Downtown Decatur as part of American Lung Association’s (ALA) annual LUNG FORCE Run/Walk. The ALA Puzzle Walk is available now through November 30th. The hunt takes 75-90 minutes to solve, and it is packed with fun facts about lung health! The ALA Puzzle Walk is available for download exclusively through ALA’s website, and the money raised will fund efforts to end lung disease. Breathe in the experience before it’s too late!

Photo: L’Arche Atlanta (Facebook)

Happening In Decatur

  • Decatur will hold its annual Holiday Ornament Unveiling from the store window of Wild Oats and Billy Goats, 112 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., on Thursday, November 5 at 6 p.m. Two parking spaces will be closed off in front of Wild Oats so there will be room to safely remain socially distant. Ornaments will be on sale outside and inside the store. Follow @visitdecaturga social media channels for more details or email sherry.jackman@decaturga.com.
  • Are you registered for the next installment in the 2020 Anti-Racism Speaker Series? Make sure you’re registered for this Friday, November 6 at 6 p.m. to hear from Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University. Visit decaturga.com/speakerseries to register for this session.
  • Different Trains Gallery, in Decatur’s Old Depot District, has curated two new art exhibitions featuring Harry Underwood and Ruth Franklin. Also, 4.6 miles west in Inman Park, at the WADDI they’re showing 40 works by Ab the Flagman, Eben Dunn, Ruth Franklin, Gary Goodman, Michael Jackson and Marek Tobolewski. Click the pictures to look online at differenttrainsgallery.com, or schedule an in-person, private visit by calling 404-939-2787.

Maybe you’ve seen these yard signs around Decatur? The 2020 Strategic Plan update, Destination 2030, is back in full swing, and we want to hear from you! A lot has changed since Opening Night back in January, when we launched the Roundtables process in a room of 600+ people, full of hope for the new decade. Halfway through those discussions the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic put us on hold while civil rights demonstrations unfolded here and around the country, highlighting challenges and inequities that we aim to address in our emerging plans.

In September we wrapped up the remaining Roundtables. Now we’re diving into their biggest topics: Equity and Racial Justice, Climate Change, Civic Trust, Housing, Transportation, and Economic Development. You can use the QR code or short link to visit our Virtual Street Forums to submit ideas, add photos and answer a few questions about each topic.

The November test of the Tornado Outdoor Warning Siren System will happen tomorrow, November 4, at 5:00 p.m. The test should last approximately one minute. Should the weather become inclement, the test will be postponed until Thursday, November 5.

If you have questions or want more information about the siren system, check out the Siren page on the City’s website or contact Police Lt. Barry Woodward at 404-373-6551.

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3. If you have an absentee ballot, you may deposit into the ballot drop off box outside of Decatur City Hall (509 N. McDonough St) or visit one of the nearby boxes located at DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections (4380 Memorial Dr) or Fire Station 3 (100 Clarendon Avenue, Avondale Estates.) The locations of additional boxes is listed here. Final pickup is 7 P.M. on Election Day.

The DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections strongly urges voters who’ve requested absentee ballots, but would now rather vote in person, to cancel their absentee ballot now. You may cancel your ballot by calling or emailing the Elections Office at 404-298-4020 or voterreg@dekalbcountyga.gov. Election officials will email you an affidavit to cancel your current absentee ballot. Taking this step will assist in keeping in-person voting lines moving on Election Day. Or if this isn’t an option, make sure to bring your absentee ballot with you to the polls.

The DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections has approved the following polling place changes for the November 3, 2020 General Election and any following Runoff elections. These changes are necessary because the regular polling locations for these precincts are not available or are no longer able to accommodate indoor social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are planning to vote in person, you should confirm your polling location before going. You may do so at the following link – https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Polling places are open 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. on Tuesday, November 3.

Still have questions or need additional information? Contact the Elections Office at 404-298-4020 or voterreg@dekalbcountyga.gov.