DECATUR– Business and community leaders came together during the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce’s annual business breakfast Thursday morning to recognize Decatur’s many successes and to map out a plan for the future.
During the breakfast, Mayor Mike McElroy delivered his annual address, new Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason addressed the crowd, and Ryan McCrady and Nicole Bateman from the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County debuted the new slogan and mantra for the city moving forward.
City Limitless has been chosen as the city’s new slogan, McCrady said he thought it reflected the successes in the past while portraying an even brighter future, “We have a lot of momentum being built up in the city, we can see that with the large crowd this morning and of course with the local economy that has begun to turn around.”
“Back in 2010 I used the word ‘momentum’ to describe Decatur and I think if you take a good honest look around from where we came 5 years ago to where we are at now, you have to agree with that,” McElroy said. “I’ve never been more confident that we have turned a corner and things are going to be this way for years to come.”
McElroy counted the new police facility, improved water supply, a renewed focus on city neighborhoods, major infrastructure improvements, and decreased crime statistics as some of the city’s recent success stories. Since 2010 the City of Decatur has poured in over $270 million into improvements.
“One of the things I am most proud of is the number of companies dedicating themselves to this community, our anchor companies have undoubtedly come under some hard times in recent years but it hasn’t stopped them from recommitting to and improving their community,” McElroy said. “There’s a swagger, a sense, a purpose, a feeling that is building throughout the city, that will be critical for our future success as a community.”
“It’s not just creating an image, but also being able to back up that image with success stories, and I think that’s what we have in Decatur,” Midwest Inland Port Director Larry Altenbaumer said. “What is different now than it was maybe five or six years ago is not only the community stepping up to move us forward but also the number of businesses that have been willing to invest, and reinvest in Decatur to help us thrive.”
“Decatur has been defined through the ups and the downs, and there have been many of both, but we are yet again amongst visionaries that will move this community forward,” Community Brand Manager Nicole Bateman said. “Groups like Grow Decatur have helped us identify the key ideas that will help us move forward and from them we are able to build our new marketing plan.”
In addition to focusing on the recent successes, it was also announced that ADM would be donating $150,000 to help pay for the entertainment options at the 2015 Decatur Celebration.
Headlining acts at this year’s Celebration include country music acts Lonestar, Deana Carter, pop rock act Blues Traveler, and R&B group Kool & The Gang. An in depth story on all of the Celebration entertainment will be posted when it is unveiled this afternoon.