A proposed annexation of Calhoun Community College into Decatur would be good for Calhoun and Decatur, but would not harm Limestone County.
For Calhoun, the primary benefit of annexation is safety. The school's explosive growth has outpaced the ability of Limestone County-based safety services to provide adequate protection. Decatur can provide more complete fire and police coverage with a quicker response time.
Calhoun does not just have $114 million of buildings on its 114 acres, it has thousands of students. The safety of these students is Calhoun's paramount responsibility.
Decatur is the largest city in Alabama without a college, a fact that is misleading. The ties between Decatur and Calhoun have always been tight. Numerous programs tie Calhoun to Decatur's high schools and industries and government. Annexation merely makes official a status that benefits both the city and the school.
State Rep. Dan Williams expresses concern that annexation would somehow break the alliance between Calhoun and Athens State University. The schools' recent joint venture on the Alabama Center for Arts — located in Decatur — suggests their alliance is doing fine.
The annexation would have no impact on Limestone County revenue, as Calhoun does not pay local taxes.
If the state board of education approves, Decatur City Council should enthusiastically welcome Calhoun to Decatur.
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