Decatur City Commission will consider expanding park, revising credit card rules

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 20, 2015

A Google Map showing the location of Dearborn Park. The area shaded light pink is the area within Decatur’s City Limits.

Decatur’s City Commission will consider buying nearly 4 acres to expand a park owned by DeKalb County. Commissioners will also consider revising the rules for their city-issued credit cards.

The City Commission meets on Dec. 21 at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. The meeting begins with a work session at 6:45 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.


Decatur Commissioners are being asked to approve spending $500,000 to buy 3.95 acres next to a nature trail at Dearborn Park. While Decatur maintains several parks, Dearborn Park is owned and maintained by DeKalb County. A Google Map of the area shows much of the park is within the Decatur city limits.

A post on the Friends of Dearborn Park Facebook page says, “Dearborn Park safe from development? The City of Decatur has entered into an agreement to purchase the parcels adjacent to the nature trail. It’s not a done deal yet because it must be approved at Monday’s commission meeting, but it looks good!” 

A memo from City Manager Peggy Merriss to the commission says the city hopes to close on the property this month.

“Acquisition of the 16 parcels will significantly expand Dearborn Park and provide unimproved natural space for the enjoyment of the community into the future,” Merriss wrote. “As part of the current 2015-2016 budget, a $500,000 transfer from the General Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund was approved for a project to be identified, including possible use to acquire greenspace. It is also recommended that the City Commission use the budgeted transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund to cover the cost of this property acquisition.”

The proposed rule changes regarding city-issued credit cards are in response to changes in state law that specify what cities should have in their credit card policies. Each city commissioner and the city manager receives a city credit card under the city’s current policy.

Under the new policy being considered, each credit card will have a monthly limit of $3,000. According to the new rules, city credit cards may not be used for …

– Any purchases for personal use.

– Cash refunds or advances.

– Items specifically restricted by (the new) policy, unless a special exemption is
granted by the City Manager.

– Purchases or transactions in violation of purchasing policy, transactional
limits or state law.

“City credit cards may be used for official city business to purchase goods and/or services that are not prohibited by this policy or state law,” the revised policy says.


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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