DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Decatur has around 150 surplus properties. However, there is no tax revenue coming in and it’s up to the city to keep these properties maintained.
Now, Decatur City Council members are discussing selling two of those properties.
“People approach us with wanting to buy those properties. We think it benefits both parties that way we don’t have the upkeep and it puts invested interest back in the property owners,” said Councilman Carlton McMasters.
McMasters represents District 3, where one of the properties, the old Flint Firehouse, is located. The other property is a vacant lot on 12th Avenue, which is part of the Decatur Assist Willing Neighbors project.
The Flint Firehouse became city property once Flint annexed into Decatur in 1991. Flint Fire Chief Wade Flakes says the firehouse needs improvements, and those upgrades could be made if the building is purchased from the city using money from the Morgan County Commission.
“We still have the firehouse, in use we’ve got all of our equipment in this one building and we’re busting at the seam,” said Flakes.
The fire department wants to expand for extra space, classrooms, and more equipment.
“You’ve got to keep up with the times. You can’t be running 25-year-old fire trucks and do that,” said Flakes.
Flakes says the fire department recently put in two new storm shelters and hopes the city council will allow them to expand and improve even more. The Decatur City Council plans to make a decision on whether or not to sell these two properties at the May 3rd meeting.