March 2020 Update

By March 9, 2020 March 12th, 2020 News

The value of telling our community the impact of the OneDecatur is critical in helping the public understand how the comprehensive plan will help guide our city for the next generation. As part of that effort, the OneDecatur Status Update Task Team plans to share on a regular basis several accomplishment from the plan that touch all corners of our area.

In the effort to make sure each child in our community is prepared for success as they begin their schooling, Decatur City Schools is hosting the inaugural Decatur City Schools Summer Learning Academy in 2020 to make sure children in early grades are reading on grade level, reducing the likelihood they are retained in accordance with the State of Alabama’s new literacy guidelines. Identifying students early who need extra help in reading will decrease the achievement gap as student progress in school levels, better prepare them to be college and career ready once they graduate, and help meet our community’s desire to equip young people to compete in our global workforce. (Supporting our Community)
In January 2020, Decatur Morgan County Tourism hired Don Dukemineer as their director of sports development. In his role, Dukemineer will be responsible for the sales of sports and athletic events to increase hotel occupancy, revenue for local sports-related venues and media exposure for Decatur-Morgan County. With attractions and tourism being one of our area’s largest economic generators, it is vital our city has a dedicated individual focused on selling Decatur-Morgan County as a destination for an always-growing sports and recreation economy. For example, when a soccer team comes to the Jack Allen Complex for a tournament, not only do players and coaches visit, but they also bring their families who all stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores and fill their vehicles with fuel at our gas stations. We welcome Dukemineer to our community and look forward to his success! (Enhancing our Amenities, 4.1)

Decatur’s entryways serve as a “first impression” point for the city, and OneDecatur calls for a beautification plan for those areas where visitors and commuters alike travel into our community. As a subcommittee of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber’s Residential Development Task Team, engineering firm Volkert, Inc. has in development a plan for the 6th Ave. entry corridor from the Tennessee River Bridge to just south of Delano Park – approximately one mile. The plan development, funded by the City of Decatur, the Chamber and the Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority, addresses curb cuts, lighting, signage, utilities, business storefronts, landscaping and begins to establish standards for how the area will develop over time. Once coordinated with the Alabama Department of Transportation, the plan will provide short and long term guidance as our community moves forward. (Improving our Mobility, 2.1)

Kicking off 2020, two additions are changing the face of downtown and our community. In late 2019, installation of public WiFi in our city center began and is already providing public Internet access for anyone downtown on a computer or mobile device. This free access will provide the opportunity during large public events like 3rd Fridays, Christmas Parade, River Clay Fine Arts Festival, Carnegie Carnival and Dine en Blanc to still communicate with your device and share your experiences in our community with the world around us. And as for events, the end of 2019 brought the inception of two New Year’s Eve gatherings, where the previous year there had been none. Decatur Jaycees hosting a Roaring 20’s bash with partnering groups Huntsville Young Professionals (HYP) at The Albany, and Team Freeze Foundation – led by Decatur High School standout, former Auburn and NFL veteran Jerraud Powers – hosted a city block party as well as a black tie gala at the Princess Theater that ended in downtown’s first midnight fireworks show. With a revitalized and redeveloped downtown, both the addition of public WiFi access and annual community events provide an energy and enthusiasm you find in cities twice our size but without the congestion and headaches of a larger metro area. (Creating a Quality Place, 6.1)

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