Highlights from the September 19, 2022 Decatur City Council meeting include an authorization for Decatur Public Transit to explore increasing service, and a resolution allowing for the continued renovations of the Decatur Public Library to support workforce development.
Expanding services at Decatur Public Transit
The Decatur City Council on Monday authorized the Decatur Public Transit System (DPTS) to expand its services, including things such as adding Sunday service and extending hours later into the evening. DPTS currently operates fixed-route and paratransit services Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. and on Saturdays 6:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. At this time, Transit staff plans to implement a one-year pilot program to provide transit services on Sundays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. DPTS is seeking public input on the proposed Sunday routes. Citizens can complete this brief survey to offer feedback: https://bit.ly/3xhe92o.
The proposed Sunday service area strategically connects the city’s urban core to all major commercial areas and the two local hospitals. The routes could accommodate individuals who work on the weekends, or who choose to shop for groceries and other supplies on this day. Stops include all three Decatur Kroger stores and both Walmart locations. The City Council also agreed to let DPTS explore extending service hours later into the evening, as was already budgeted for prior to COVID-19. Additionally, transit can continue preparation of possibly adding micro-transit and micro-mobility services in the future.
Funding to bring Sunday routes into service and to expand hours into the evening would come from a combination of regular rider fees and state and federal operations grants. It would not result in an increase to current bus fares. If added, Sunday bus fares would be the same as M-Sat fares. Current transit fares can be found at www.decaturil.gov/departments/transit/information/.
Workforce Development Renovations at Decatur Public Library
Also on Monday night, the City Council approved a resolution allowing for the continued renovations of the Decatur Public Library to support workforce development. Council accepted a change order with Johnson Controls, Inc. for HVAC modifications to the library building – one of the many things involved with retrofitting the second floor. In June 2022, Council approved a contract with Interior Specialty Construction, Inc. for the addition of classrooms, offices, and other interior improvements at the library building.
These improvements are a key component of the City Council’s efforts to enhance workforce development, workforce preparation, and improve integration and coordination with other agencies involved in workforce development. All parties are focused on training and preparing local residents to enter the workforce and be successful. The existing HVAC system in that part of the library requires changes and upgrades to the more than 30-year-old system, which was designed for a large open space (like a retail store) and won’t support the added multiple classrooms, offices, IT closets, etc.
The agreement will also remedy current HVAC problems being experienced by Project Read Plus and the Everside Employee Clinic. Funding for this project comes from ARP monies. Renovations are on track to be completed in January 2023. More information about these topics can be found in the City Council Agenda packet, downloadable/viewable here: www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/