Medlock Park residents raise questions about the status of Decatur’s annexation bill

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 2, 2016

There’s growing concern among residents in the Medlock Park neighborhood about Decatur’s annexation plans, despite perceptions that the Legislature has no real appetite for pursuing any annexation bills this year.

A letter that ran on Decaturish.com on Feb. 1 calls Decatur’s plan “shameful,” saying it will rob DeKalb County Schools of its commercial tax revenue. There’s also a petition circulating urging legislators to vote against the annexation plan.

Last year, state Rep. Karla Drenner, D – Avondale Estates, introduced an annexation bill that included part of Decatur’s annexation map, with the notable exception of Suburban Plaza. That bill died in the 2015 Legislative session.

However, Medlock residents note that there is a meeting of the DeKalb County Senate Delegation on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Capitol. Drenner’s bill is one of the items up for discussion.

Drenner told Decaturish she doesn’t know what’s going on with the Decatur annexation legislation.

“I don’t know,” she said. “The only priorities that we have talked about have been to pass the homestead exemption for seniors.”

Attempts to reach state Sen. Elena Parent have been unsuccessful.

After the Decatur Mayor’s recent State of the City Address, City Manager Peggy Merriss told Decaturish she’s not aware of any push to get Drenner’s bill passed this year. She said the city is not actively seeking a sponsor for the rest of its annexation plan.

“Things probably aren’t going to go anywhere,” Merriss said. “In the world of the Legislature, as long as it’s out there, there’s always a tomorrow. … With LaVista Hills not happening, I think the pressures became very different. The General Assembly is trying to get out by mid-March and I don’t think there’s an appetite on the state level for dealing with local issues. That’s what we’re hearing anyway.”

To see the map attached to the 2015 annexation bill, click here.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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