March is almost here which means we made it through one of the longest or at least strangest winters most of us have experienced. Covid-19 cases are down, vaccines are being distributed (though not as quickly as we’d all like), most businesses are back open with some guidelines, and life is returning to normal, sorta.
I’m fully vaccinated and lived to tell. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine produced some strong symptoms, but I take that as a good sign. I would just advise anyone to not plan anything the day after they get their second shot. Some people have very mild symptoms and some have much stronger ones. Whatever the case, I never felt so good to feel so miserable. Hopefully, everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be soon.
So things are almost normal, just like my family’s motto.
As we wade into more normal-ish waters, here are some things that are going on in the city.
Devon Amphitheater Concerts
The Devon Amphitheater has a few concerts booked for this summer including Tracy Bird, Kool & the Gang (they played at the Decatur Celebration a few years back and were very good), the Oak Ridge Boys, and the Gin Blossoms. Hopefully, being that it’s an outdoor venue, the concerts will go on. I think they will.
Splash Cove, Decatur’s brand-new water park, is set to open this year. It was scheduled to open last year, but Covid pushed the date back. A lazy river was added over the winter, so there’s even more to look forward to. The water park is managed by the Decatur Park District, and I’m sure there will be season passes available for residents.
Bike Path Expansion
The Stevens Creek Bikeway, a.ka. “the bike path” is finally, officially expanding. The segment from Cresthaven Park to Forsyth should begin construction this year. Eventually, the bike path will connect Rock Springs to Forsyth.
The city is currently looking into ways to improve biking within the city as well. Decatur isn’t the most bike or pedestrian friendly city in the world, but hopefully that will change.
A Less Horrible US 51
On the March 1st council agenda are items that will pave the way for a newly paved US 51 through the heart of the city. The multi-lane road has been in terrible shape for years and state funding was appropriated for it last year. Looks like it will finally get the attention it needs.
I don’t know if the Decatur Celebration is dead, but things aren’t looking so great. The website isn’t even available anymore, so that’s not a good sign. The event was constantly running in the red for years and the last I heard was seeking funding from local businesses. Considering a lot of local businesses had a very rough year, it doesn’t seem likely the Celebration will happen in 2021.
I assume some form of the Celebration will come back eventually, but it’ll probably look different. We’ll see.
A concerning issue throughout last year was gang violence and killings. It looks like the city will be dealing with that again this year. In years past, such shootings were usually contained in Decatur’s inner city. Now they’re happening at any time of the day on nearly any road. There’s no easy answer.
City Council Election
Oh, and we just had an election in Decatur. Yeah, I know many people probably missed it, but a primary was held to reduce the number of city council candidates to 6 for the April 6th election. The candidates for the general election are: Chuck Khule, Ed Culp, David Horn, Jacob Jenkins, Marty Watkins, and William Wetzel. There are 3 seats up for election this year. The two incumbents are Chuck Khule and David Horn.
The third seat will ensure that at least one new face will be on the council. I’ll bring more information on each of the candidates over the next few weeks, so we all can get to know them more.