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SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2007
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EDITORIAL

DU board, Mayor Kyle due pats on the back

Members of the Decatur Utilities board and a residential developer appear to have had a good meeting last week.

Letís hope so and that the city can get its crippled home-building industry moving.

Tuscaloosa developer Joe Brown Duckworth offered board members a deal that he described as a no-lose proposition to add 400 to 500 upscale homes and expand the city limits onto scenic Burleson Mountain.

DU has sewerage on Red Bank Road. Mr. Duckworth and his local partner Jimmy Mitchell want to tie into the line and run it up the mountain to their 168 acres they plan to be a gated community. To recover their money for sewerage, they want the right to charge other developers who tie onto the line that they run. The tap-on fees would go to the city after the developers recoup their estimated $500,000.

In the meanwhile, Mayor Don Kyle has a suggested formula to make DU a sewerage partner with developers to encourage more development. Again, his plan is to ease the improvement costs of developers.

The DU board should make its decision at the May meeting.

Huntsville, Madison, Priceville and Athens are outpacing Decatur in residential development. Letís encourage DU board members and Mayor Kyle to do more creative financing, especially if it is a no-lose offer. Decatur must break out of the housing doldrums.

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