Highlights from the September 18, 2023, Decatur City Council meeting include approval of the Jasper Street Great Streets Great Neighborhoods project roadmap, and an investment in a Crisis Response Program with a local nonprofit partner.
• Jasper Street – Great Streets Great Neighborhoods
On Monday night the Decatur City Council approved a plan that will guide the City’s efforts to revitalize the Jasper Street corridor. The City and its consultant, Teska Associates, in September 2022 launched the Great Streets Great Neighborhoods (GSGN) initiative for Jasper Street. An estimated $10-million, 3-year roadmap was developed after months of research and planning that included input from residents, businesses, and other community stakeholders.
Goals of the project are to improve transportation and street design to accommodate all users, build capacity for businesses and neighborhood organizations, foster a sense of pride and place with adjacent neighborhoods, repair and rehab dilapidated or vacant homes, and reactivate vacant land along the corridor.
A key element is the possible addition of a civic plaza just north of the viaduct. The plaza could include: a nature play area; an open lawn space with seating options, festival space, and an outdoor educational area; a flexible plaza with a basketball court, shaded areas, seating and more; fitness equipment; food truck parking; picnic tables; and parking for visitors. But Council will vote on certain aspects of the plan in future meetings before they are implemented.
Much of the funding for this project will be secured from state and federal grants. The City will highlight pieces of this plan in the months ahead to keep the community updated. The full plan can be viewed at www.jasperconnect.org.
• Crisis Response Program
Council also authorized investment in the Child 1st Center’s Macon County HEALS program to assist victims of violent crime. HEALS works with the Decatur Police Department to provide immediate support to families/individuals that have experienced trauma. As opposed to providing a referral, this immediate assistance from the crisis responders provides support to victims and lessens the long-term effects of the traumatic experience.
The City invested $30,000 for the first year of this program in 2022 and the Police Department has seen positive results. Council approved another $30,000 investment for 2023, coming from American Rescue Plan Act funds.
• In other business
In other business…City Council continued its infrastructure improvement by approving a contract with Burdick Plumbing & Heating Co. for the 2023 Annual Water Main Replacement Project. This $3.92-million project focuses on two areas: South Shores streets of S. Franklin Street, Imboden Drive, and Medial Drive; and W. Wood Street crossing the Norfolk Southern tracks between Fairview & Oakland Ave. New water mains, fire hydrants, valves, services, and associated sitework will be performed.
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/