Mayor Jim Baskett said city leaders will continue to consider annexation as a way to increase commercial growth in Decatur during his March 25 state of the city address.
“You’re hearing a lot about annexation and much of that is the result of attempts to form new cities in DeKalb County,” he said in a NeighborNewspapers.com story. “We cannot afford to allow others to decide the shape and future of Decatur because if we are encircled by other cities, there won’t be any possibilities for change down the road.”
Tucker, Lakeside and Briarcliff all pursued bills in this year’s legislative session that would have allowed them to become cities, although all three failed to win passage.
Baskett said the city would consider annexing larger areas to increase the proportion of commercial property versus residential property.
His speech also praised the city’s strong financial condition and partnerships with area institutions.
“Our primary responsibility is to be extremely diligent trustees with public funds,” he said. “Since 2007, we’ve added $2.5 million to our fund balance and slightly lowered our millage rate during the recession.”
The three most important aspects of building for the future are community, infrastructure and people, the mayor said.
“Partnerships are an integral part of building up our community,” Baskett said, mentioning Agnes Scott College, Oakhurst Garden, Woodlands, The History Center and Global Growers as major partners of the city.
In May, the Beacon Municipal Complex, the largest building project in the city’s history, will open as a joint project with local schools, Baskett said. The city schools’ administrative offices will move in with the active living, police and municipal court departments in the complex.