The plan for the St. James still isn’t clearPublished 11:56pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Selma is quickly approaching a self-imposed deadline. After taking over operations of the St. James hotel in early August, city officials promised to complete a sale or develop long term plans for the building by year’s end.
The hotel was self-sufficient last month, which is fantastic news, but it’s also only one month. Let’s keep in mind that the city previously infused $35,000 into the hotel to keep it running. The hotel may be running fine now, but it is being run mostly by voluteers who do not draw a salary. The current method of operation isn’t sustainable. The St. James shouldn’t be an experiment in local government running a private business.
Selling a multi-million dollar asset is a difficult task in a few short months, regardless of the seller, but city officials set the deadline, not us. It’s time the city follows through on a promise.
If it’s any motivation, the hotel was valued at $6.5 million in 1997 and has hopefully appreciated in value. A sale would result in a tremendous cash flow into city government.