Valley Grande edging toward incorporation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

They are opposed to annexation. And now incorporation may be more than likely.

Valley Grande residents met Monday night to discuss the area becoming its own city, a move that appears imminent.

The meeting comes after fears of annexation by Selma crept through the Valley Grande community, fears which residents there said were ignited after they learned about an annexation study done at the request of Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr.

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Perkins insists the booklet was only a study, while residents in the Valley Grande area claim that it is the first step to possible annexation of the area by Selma.

During Monday’s meeting, the community appointed representatives to lead them in the move for incorporation.

Milton Ezelle, who was appointed as co-chairman along with Charles Golson, said that during the meeting several other appointments for different positions had been made and that a legal representative had spoken to Valley Grande residents about legal requirements relating to incorporation.

Ezelle said Tuesday that he was in meetings all day relating to incorporation, adding that he would be releasing more information on matters relating to incorporation &uot;over the next few days.&uot;

Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones said that, according to the Alabama law, for a community to incorporate, residents first must present a petition to the probate judge signed by four electors within each section of the community &uot;residing on each quarter of each quarter of a section of land.&uot;

After a petition is filed and all the criteria under the law have been met, the probate judge then directs an election to be held within 30 days of the filing of the petition, Jones said.

According to Alabama law, the probate judge then appoints three qualified electors within the limits of the proposed city or town as &uot;inspectors to manage the election.&uot;

Jones said that if a simple majority of residents in the area vote to incorporate, then the area will become incorporated as its own city.

Most residents who attended Monday night’s City Council meeting seem to agree that they want the community to incorporate.

Jennifer Foman, a resident who works in the Valley Grande community, also said that she hoped Valley Grande would incorporate.

She blamed Perkins for &uot;sneaking&uot; the annexation study by residents in the area, rather than informing them about it.