Monument problems go on and on

Published 10:26pm Monday, April 8, 2013

This is not about the debacle that is the ongoing soap opera of a Confederate monument sitting squarely in the middle of a city cemetery. This is not about a monument built as an ode to a controversial Civil War officer or the back and forth supporting groups seem to enjoy.

No, this is about the city of Selma having a strong and well laid out plan for the ongoing care for those monuments within the city.

Just a few days removed from a massive wrecker being called to hoist the Beinville Monument from its perch — a perch perilously close to falling in the Alabama River — we still ask what took so long.

For those who have driven by, walked by — or for those lucky few who have walked through and not tripped — in the Water Avenue Beinville Monument park, the danger this monument was facing was real and only getting worse. And, it was not something that took place all of a sudden.

For far too long, passersby have seen the brick wall overlooking the river sag further and further toward the river. For far too long, passersby have seen the monument sink just a little lower and lower.

Did at any point we imagine the sinking, settling and falling to stop? Did we think it would improve considering the storm drain that sits directly beneath the park and pours out into the river.

This park has tremendous potential and we applauded the city’s efforts last year when they came in and trimmed the trees, cut back the brush and gave those who wanted to enjoy the park a clear view of the river and Edmund Pettus Bridge.

But, this park needs attention — a lot of attention — and quickly.

It is park that has a storied history and a future. It is a welcomed spot along the portion of Water Avenue that many of the building owners along that section of Selma’s downtown have forgotten.

The remnants of the Voting Rights Museum and Institute are showing signs of neglect as is the building that once housed staff for The Montgomery Advertiser’s branch.

We hope the city finds a way to strengthen and restore the Bienville Monument. It’s far too nice a piece of Selma to just let slip into the river.

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