Commission agenda: Alcohol license for Doggy Dogg, food truck fees, court reorganization

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 15, 2015
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

The Decatur City Commission has a lot on its plate during its regular meeting on June 15.

First up will be consideration of an alcohol license for Doggy Dogg, a new restaurant taking over the space formerly occupied by Las Brasas at 310 East Howard Avenue. Las Brasas, a “Peruvian chicken rotisserie” is relocating to Church Street and is shooting for a July opening. The license is for sale of beer and wine. The applicant is James Hammerl.

Other items of note:

– New fees: City Commissioners will consider adoption of a new fee schedule that includes a new $25 fee for food truck inspections. A new food truck event recently began in Decatur at the corner of Cambridge and College Avenue. Parking fees at city meters will increase from $1.50 per hour to $2 per hour. The city will also add a special events walk run permit fee of $150, plus a $250 sanitation bond.

– Municipal Court: City Commissioners will consider a proposal to streamline Decatur’s municipal court operations. Currently the city court uses four part-time judges to handle cases. The proposed reorganization would appoint one part-time chief judge who would work 20 to 25 hours per week. It’s estimated this reorganization will save the city $25,000 per year.

– Ten year capital plan: For the first time, the city is considering adoption of a 10-year plan for all of its brick and mortar projects, as well as vehicle replacements for city departments.

City Manager Peggy Merriss told commissioners in a memo that the plan, “provides a comprehensive depiction of Decatur’s current and anticipated capital improvement needs, including expenditures and revenue sources, for a 10 year period. The plan is another step in an ongoing conversation with the community regarding infrastructure investment, service level standards and funding priorities.”

The city’s new Fiscal Year begins July 1. The plan includes $570,000 for railroad crossing improvements at Candler Road and McDonough Street in Fiscal Year 2016, and $1 million for the Oakhurst streetscape project.

Here is the full list of capital projects in the 10-year plan:

Consolidated Capital-10yearplan_final

Other items worth a mention include a request from Academe of the Oaks to change the land use designation for property at 149 New Street from C-Commercial/High Density Residential to I-Institutional and a request to rezone it from C3-Heavy Commercial. According to the planning staff report, the private high school wants to, “convert the existing commercial building into classroom space and increase their enrollment from 100 to 120 students.”

Commissioners will also consider a final adoption of the millage rate, reducing the tax rate from 13 mills to 12. Both the city and school system are reducing their millage rates ahead of a vote that would ask residents to approve borrowing $75 million for school construction, including expansion of the high school and middle school. Borrowing that money would require voters to raise their own taxes by as much as 8 percent.

Tonight’s City Commission meeting begins with a work session at 6:45 pm and the regular meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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