Excepting the Children’s Home, Decatur not pursuing annexation

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Excepting the Children’s Home, Decatur not pursuing annexation

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L-R, Commissioner Tony Powers, City Manager Peggy Merriss, Mayor Patti Garrett, School Board Chair Annie Caiola and Superintendent David Dude during a Nov. 9 joint session between commissioners and board members. Regarding annexation Merriss told the gathering, “I think we have a year to figure things out.” Bill Banks for the AJC

Excepting the old United Methodist Children’s home property, it appears Decatur won’t pursue annexation in the near future.

The general assembly’s next session, which begins in January, is the second year of a two-term cycle. By law, new cities have to be introduced in the first term and voted on in the second.

Theoretically, the proposed DeKalb County cities of Prosperity and Greenhaven could get voted on during next year’s session. The maps of both include land that Avondale Estates and Decatur have coveted in past years.

But Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said that as of now neither proposed city is “going anywhere.”

Her comments came Nov. 9 during a rare joint session between the school board and city commission, their first since Oct. 2016.

“From everything we’re hearing,” Garrett told the gathering, “we think this will be a short session. [Legislators] won’t want to have a lot of local fighting. There doesn’t seem to be an appetite for new cities. We also think there might be a pushback on anything Decatur might want to get through.”

“In other words,” City Manager Peggy Merriss added, “I think we have a year to figure things out.”

The city will eventually annex the 77-acre UMCH property it purchased in August, along with 12 residential properties on Derrydown Way north of the tract. There is still no timetable for making this move.

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