During a joint meeting last week between city commissioners and the school board, it became clear Decatur is in no hurry to create a new annexation map.
Superintendent David Dude did produce a first draft of an “annexation metrics” document. In theory this could project an approximate population increase, and student population increase, for specific areas targeted for annexation.
But the document is only a first draft of a mathematical framework. The city will likely hire a planning intern to research current population trends in and outside Decatur to provide data for Dude’s framework.
“I do believe,” Dude said recently, “that people will move into Decatur apartments to attend city schools. I think we’ve had anecdotal evidence of that for years. But right now we don’t have any hard numbers.”
Plugging numbers into a format, however, is only a first step in what City Manager Peggy Merriss admits could be a long process.
“It’s possible [producing an annexation map] could go into 2018,” Merriss said. “Right now I don’t see any urgency. So far nobody has filed an annexation plan that includes any area Decatur’s had interest in over the last 15 to 20 years.
“However,” she added, “if one of our [legislative] representatives comes to us in February, and says we need to produce a map pretty fast, then I think we could swing into gear.”