Decatur City Council Delays Vote On Sweetwater Development

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – The Decatur City Council decided not to vote Monday morning on the proposed Sweetwater development deal. Council members say attorneys for the developer requested the delay over a procedural question. The public had a chance to voice their opinions on the proposal. Several council members warned if Decatur didn’t accept the deal, Huntsville and Madison County would snap it up.

We’ve not heard from the developer thus far. But this proposal has been on the horizon for 8 years now, and Decatur city leaders say they have walked away from it several times saying the deal just wasn’t right for the city. Well, this is a completely different proposdal and several council members say if Decatur doesn’t accept it, there’s plenty of land available on the other side of the interstate, which would put it in Huntsville and Madison County.

It has taken roughly eight years to get the Sweetwater development proposal to this point, and the effort appears to be one city council vote away from becomming a reality. That vote has been delayed until next month at the request of the developer’s attorneys. Meanwhile, the public was given a chance to voice their opinions on the proposal, and most were in support of the development.

“You’ll notice there’s not many 20-30 year old people sitting in here. This is who this project’s for,” said Decatur resident Joe Earls.

However, there were a few who spoke against the deal. Joe Propst, a member of the Decatur City Board of Education says the city schools are getting a raw deal.

“I am not in support of this. I think it’s a bad deal for the City of Decatur, I think it’s a real bad deal for the city schools,” Propst said. He says Decatur City Schools will loose available tax revenue as a result of the deal and incentives offered to the developer. He says they’re laughing about this in neighboring Limestone County because their schools will receive additional tax revenue from the development, and they’re not contributing towards the project.

Council President Gary Hammon says if the deal comes together, the entire city will benefit, including the school system. The city council is now scheduled to vote on the proposal April 7th.