Mayor says Decatur growing strong despite some reports - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mayor says Decatur growing strong despite some reports

Every now and then mayors, governors and presidents give a State of the Government Address.

It gives citizens an opportunity to see how an area is growing, or not.

And while there have been reports that Decatur's population is shrinking, the mayor disputes that.

WAFF 48 Reporter Bobby Shuttleworth spent some time with Mayor Don Kyle today and got his perspective.

His take is positive for both economic and population growth.

The area beyond Burningtree is primed and ready for new homes.

Whenever new developments pop up, there must be water, sewage and electricity. That's crucial for residential or commercial growth.

"If you look purely at statistics, Decatur growth averages a half a percentage a little over a year. That's not fast growth but it's steady growth that's been constant over the years, and hopefully that's an indictor that it's good strong growth," says Kyle. 

BRAC will also bring in growth at a rapid rate.

"Some skeptics talk about, perhaps we're loosing population. That's not so."

He points to census figures, housing starts, and sales tax all indicate growth, except in the industrial sector.

The city helped industrial growth through incentives, but it's never reached out to residential growth using incentives like water and sewage.

Running water and sewage lines take money, but the mayor has an idea that would make it enticing for developers and economically feasible for the city.

"We'll fund part of the development, the sewer development. And rather than have that individual wait to recover the cost from others hooking onto the system, the city will absorb that risk and that role," says Kyle. 

Initially the money will come from the general fund, but the project will pay for itself after a period of time.

This type of creative funding isn't new.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community affairs uses similar formulas to entice business opportunities to the state.

How will the Decatur City Council react?

The ball will be in their court during Monday's city council meeting.

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