The Decatur City Council continued its review of the 2023 proposed City budget during a study session on Monday night. This was a special meeting and no other topics were covered.
Last week during their November 7 meeting, the Council reviewed one half of the proposed budget during a study session, where they focused on Public Safety and Neighborhood Revitalization initiatives. This week’s focus was the Public Works budget, American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocations, and Decatur Public Transit.
During the Public Works discussion, Council learned about plans that reflect their commitment to rebuild and maintain the City’s infrastructure. They indicated they would love to see more roadwork but recognized that asphalt prices are still elevated. In general, Public Works reported the average local road score remains steady. Council members also asked for greater effort to involve minority subcontractors. In contrast, work done by minority employees exceeded the Council’s goal, which the Council applauded. They also reviewed several large projects – both ongoing and planned – such as the Claricone clarifier replacement at the South Water Treatment Plant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_4pFQeorW8), as well as large sewer projects that continue efforts to reduce infiltration and basement backup issues.
Also on Monday, Council reaffirmed support for most of the ARP allocations for 2023. They noted their gratefulness for this once-in-a-lifetime support from the federal government. Members questioned whether some of the funds could be reallocated to support future neighborhood revitalization initiatives beyond 2023, or if more could be spent fixing roads.
The Decatur Public Transit System (DPTS) could be its own department soon, reflecting the attention staff has put on expanding transit services. Council recognized those expansion efforts during Monday’s meeting and said they were looking forward to the continued growth of DPTS. Members asked about next steps and heard more about micro-transit options which could help residents get to places that are not on the fixed routes the buses operate on. Moving forward, the budget will be revised based on the Council’s suggested amendments. The budget will next be submitted for a public hearing and community input phase. The Council can again amend the budget to reflect public feedback before taking any final votes.
To review the entire proposed budget, visitwww.decaturil.gov/departments/finance/city-budget/