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Decatur is a city spread in Limestone and Morgan Counties in Alabama. It is also the county seat of Morgan County, as well as the largest city within its limits. Nicknamed "The River City", it is located on the banks of Lake Wheeler, as well as along the Tenessee River. It is part of the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area (combined with Huntsville Metro Area). It has a total area of 59.9 square miles, 10.83% of which is water, and the rest is land. The water bodies here are Wheeler Lake, Tennessee River, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Flint Creek and Chula Vista Lake and Lake Morgan. It was founded as Rhodes Ferry in 1810 or whereabouts, and was incorporated with the current name in 1821. The city experienced rapid growth and economic development for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, but was later overshadowed by the nearby Hunstsville.
The city has the biggest port on the Tenessee River, and handles a large volume of cargo, as well as barge traffic up and down the river. Recently, a contract for United Launch Alliance combined with Lockheed-Martin and Boeing was approved for building a plant in central Decatur. The port and the river would be used to transport the products to Cape Canaveral. A number of Fortune 500 companies have offices and plants here. The city is also part of the area known for having the highest number of engineers per capita, nationwide. Some significant employers in the region include 3M, BP, Bunge International, Daikin, General Electric, Decatur City Schools, Tenessee Valley Authority, Meow Mix, and a few more. Tourism is also a significant earner here. A number of festivals are held here, which attract a large number of visitors. Some popular fests include Alabama Jubilee, the Spirit of America Festival, and the Riverfest. It also has a number of parks and open spaces for recreational purposes. Huntsville International Airport and Pryor Field Regional Airport are the major airports serving this region. It has a large number of public as well as private schools, along with a single community college. Decatur General Hospital and Parkway Medical Center are the two hospitals in the city.
The official tagline of the city since 2005 has been "A Grand City on a Charming Scale". The cost of living here is 10.00% lower than the country average, making living here cheaper.
The city gets about 51 inches of rain annually, with about 108 days having measurable precipitation. Snowfall is about 4 inches annually.
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