Continued development of amphiteater and downtown crucial to city’s growth

Published 12:51am Saturday, October 12, 2013

“There’s just nothing to do.”

Next time you hear that phrase come out of the mouth of someone you’re standing next to, walk away quickly. They might not be playing with a full deck.

Just this weekend alone, those searching for something to fill his or her time can go to Riverfront Market Day, take part in the annual Integrity Worldwide 5K or go to the iconic Kathryn Tucker Windham Alabama Tale Tellin’ Festival.

Thursday, we saw hundreds turn out for the annual St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Lobsterfest and we’re just a few days removed from the Central Alabama Fair.

There are those who would argue the quality of life in Selma is “not what is should be.” While we agree that the argument can be made at times, this area is blessed with the kind of events and the natural resources that can fill up anyone’s social calendar nearly every week and weekend.

And, if there isn’t something that just thrills your entertainment bones, Selma and Dallas County are centrally located enough to take advantage of the entertainment districts and events in Montgomery, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

With all of this in mind, it’s once again important to point out that the continued development of Selma’s waterfront and the so-called downtown entertainment district is a must.

With the work scheduled — and hopefully one day completed — for the Riverfront Amphitheater, that project alone could help spark development up and down Water Avenue, Broad Street and other areas.

But as this work is ongoing and future development hopefully sparked, it is important to remember the underlying infrastructure work that must become a focus of city leaders.

We cannot afford to have business owners and downtown property owners invest tens of thousands of dollars — if not more — on their buildings, only to have the underpinnings of their building continue to deteriorate. They must know — we must know — that the foundation from which we build this entertainment district is stable and strong.

Now is the time for city leaders, downtown property and business owners to get together and get to work on what is needed and must be done to develop the waterfront and downtown areas effectively.

It needs to be done quickly. There are a growing number of people looking for something to do. It would be nice they filled their schedules with events and attractions here rather than somewhere else.

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