Decatur has closed on the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s Home, which has occupied the site just east of the city since 1873.
The UMCH receives $40 million from the sale. Given the financing structure Decatur pays a principal of $41,077,000, and a total of $61 million over 30 years counting interest. The city’s purchase breaks down into two parts:
- Twenty-two acres are funded through a loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. That loan is for $11,452,000 at 1.7 percent interest rate for 30 years.
- Fifty-five acres are funded by bonds that sold for $29, 625,000 with a 3.36 interest rate also over 30 years.
The next steps include hiring a firm to facilitate public input sessions that will help create a master plan for the site. Those sessions should begin in January, with a plan completed by next summer.
Also, sometime this fall the property’s playing fields will get what City Manager Peggy Merriss describes as a “major upgrade,” which will take nine months to a year.
The UMCH is currently in the process of moving its roughly 80 residents into apartments in Tucker and Clarkston. The administrative staff will move into a Tucker office park sometime this fall.