City Council Talks Water, Police Pay, Payday Loans


Decatur-Finding more water has been the focus of the Decatur city council for months.

But Monday night, they voted on an agreement that will be a major help.

ADM is a major user of Lake Decatur water and now they'll be helping the city improve the water supply.

The company will drill two wells 40 feet under the lake which will give them 7 million gallons of ground water each day, giving everyone else more of the lake's water supply. They will also give the city 2 point five million dollars to develop other water sources. ADM will also pay up to a million dollars per year for improvements to the water system.

City manager Ryan McCrady says it's a solution they've been working on for a long time and benefits everyone.

"I said all along ADM was at the table with us when we worked on the drought," McCrady said. "They were helping us find a solution. I think that shows to the community that's what happened here. And so it's a good thing for the community, it's a good thing for ADM, it's a good thing for everybody."

Another part of the agreement, ADM will use their recycled rainwater, reducing their dependence on Lake Decatur water.

City council members also voted to limit where payday and title loan businesses can be located.

It would allow existing businesses to stay where they are, but would require new title loan locations to be at least 15-hundred feet from each other, and only in certain commercial districts.

Several pastors spoke up at the meeting, saying these businesses take advantage of consumers.

The mayor say he agrees, but beyond what they approved at the meeting, it's out of the city's hands.

"The city of Decatur has nothing to do with the exorbitant, robbing rates that they charge those people that borrow the money from them,"McElroy says.

The mayor says he would lobby at the state capitol for these businesses to be more tightly regulated.

A recent Pew study revealed that only 14-percent of borrowers can afford the monthly payments on an average payday loan.

And finally council approved a new 3-year contract with city police. That contract would give police raises of 2-percent the first year.. And 2-and-a-quarter percent the next two years. It also requires new police officers to live in Macon County.

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