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Decatur Officials Fire Back at Chronic Complainers

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If we had a dollar for every time a commenter or emailer said unbridled development is clogging Decatur with traffic, ruining its village charm and bloating its schools, we'd have at least $27. Well, now the city is firing back, using tax rate analyses and data on student-population growth to put complainers in their place, or so it appears. In the September issue of Focus, which is published by the city, officials address a greatest-hits list of gripes, which include: "Downtown multiple dwellings have a negative impact on our school system," the classic, "Apartment developments will ruin downtown and our community," and who could forget that earwormy smash, "We have too much development taking place in downtown Decatur." Decatur Metro lists the responses in reader-friendly format, and our favorite retort has to be this one, regarding school-overcrowding: "In the six downtown multi-family developments completed since 1999, there is a total of 45 students registered for the current school year (across all grade levels) … This accounts for only 2 percent of the student population growth."