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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Decatur needs to move on proposed bond issue

Decatur residents deserve a first-class shopping mall, a new first-class recreation complex and first-class tennis courts.

They also need them.

That's right, Decatur needs them as part of the engine that drives the local economy.

Councilman Ray Metzger's "Buy in Decatur" campaign to boost city revenue is commendable. But the city can do far more to keep shoppers in town if it goes ahead with the proposed $10 million or so bond issue to help remake Colonial Mall, finish the Jack Allen Recreation Complex and build 12 tennis courts at Point Mallard.

The surest way to drive shoppers to Huntsville is to allow the mall storefronts to be half empty. The proposal is a good deal for the city. Decatur is to put up $4 million for the makeover and will be repaid from the sales tax increase that results.

The Jack Allen Recreation Complex, if completed, will bring in many soccer tournaments and fill up local hotels and restaurants with hungry team members.

Tennis, too, can make it big here if the city builds the courts.

While council members are justifiably concerned about paying back the money, each of the proposals stands to bring additional tax revenue to the city.

Let's shop at home, not necessarily because it's the right thing to do, but because what we want is in Decatur.

The new city government justified its procrastination in adopting the budget last year that came well into the fiscal year.

This year, however, somebody needs to step forward not only on these projects but also on taking care of police and fire needs.

Indecision is apparently holding up passing a budget.

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