Nice to see St. James finally moving forward

Published 7:48pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Finally. After nearly 10 months of hotel management, Selma city government took a step in the right direction by voting Tuesday to approve a management agreement with Strand.

The agreement, if signed by Strand, would be for one year, with subsequent, renewal options.

But the city shouldn’t stop at finding a qualified management company. As Strand and some council members said previously, the city shouldn’t be in the hotel businesses.

Currently, the city collects a tax from local hotels and then immediately reinvests the money into the St. James. The city plans to provide $75,000 to help subsidize the hotel’s budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Without a hotel, the city could invest it’s left over tax into new equipment for its departments. Currently, the city is forced to spend money on the hotel, rather than receiving a profit.

At some point, the hotel could become profitable. Then, city should cut ties with the St. James and sell.

A city-government-owned hotel is rare for a reason.

City employees likely haven’t run a successful hotel before and shouldn’t start with one of Selma’s most important assets.

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