Decatur City Council President says deficit will not affect Swee - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Decatur City Council President says deficit will not affect Sweetwater Deal

Sweetwater Development (Source: WAFF) Sweetwater Development (Source: WAFF)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - After the city council declared a $1.5 million dollar budget shortfall earlier this week, the Decatur City Council President elaborated on concerns about the multi-million dollar Sweetwater development.

Decatur City Council President Gary Hammon said the $1.5 million dollar deficit will have an impact on city purchases but not on the Sweetwater Deal.

He said the shortfall means Decatur will likely only purchase ten police cars instead of the twenty that they need.
He also said the Sweetwater Deal and proposed Bass Pro Shop at the 565/I-65 interchange remains on hold because of a lawsuit over how Decatur's city government is run.

Voters approved a referendum to add a city manager to oversee day to day operations. However, that never happened and the mayor has remained in charge.

Because of that suit, Sweetwater is in a holding pattern.

"We could take every dime we spent on Sweetwater and put it in the general fund and the balance would be exactly the same," said Hammon.

Greg Reeves served on the Decatur city council from 2008 to 2012.

He tells me this isn't the first time the city has experienced a shortfall but and he says it isn't the end of the world.

Reeves says business will still look at the area because a million-and-a-half dollar deficit sounds like a lot but it is manageable. He said he had the same thing happen while he was in office and it didn't stop potential projects from happening.

The former city councilman says city leaders will have to get creative in how to make that money up

"Decatur certainly has a lot going for it and the investments have been wise. It takes a while," said Reeves. "You invest in something and it takes a while to see a return. Some if it requires faith. You don't know that things are going to turn out the way you hope, but you do your best and plan and try to make the best city you can make."

The current council put a lot of faith in the Sweetwater development, and they say it's still an ongoing project.

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