‘No way humanly possible’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Council takes formal look at annexation feasibility study

By Megan Lavey / Selma Times – Journal

If the presentation of the &uot;City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study&uot; at Monday’s City Council work session proved anything, it was that annexation is a possibility in Selma’s future &045;&045; just not anytime soon and certainly not now.

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Tracy Delaney, who conducted the study, made a formal presentation for council members and members of the community.

Potter’s Station and Burnsdale sent represenatives. Dallas County Commissioner Kim Ballard also came to watch.

No represenatives from Valley Grande or Selmont incorporation movements came, despite an open invitation from Mayor James Perkins Jr. and Council President George Evans.

Delaney broke down the different parts of the study for those present, explaining the costs involved and the areas she studied.

She insisted that the study is broken down into six areas instead of four due to study purposes, not for political ones.

Doing it in six, she said, made the numbers easier to manage.

Delaney said it would take the city roughly 33 years to recover the cost of annexing the Selmont area. As a comparison, she noted that’s only slightly longer than taking out a 30 year mortgage on a house.

She estimated the total cost of annexation of the entire area studied &045;&045; around 215 square miles &045;&045; at $70 million. But that is only if the entire study area is annexed at one time.

She emphasized that the study was intended to determine the feasibility of Selma annexing certain areas, not as any firm plan for annexation.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell pointed out that the study was intended to help the city determine whether annexing an area was cost effective.

Evans agreed, saying that due to the amount of money involved, Selma could not annex the entire area that was studied. &uot;There is no way humanly possible,&uot; he said.

But, he added, even if they went ahead with plans to annex part of the land, there would be full community involvement in it.

Perkins added that another primary reason for the study was to take a look at the commercial areas lying on the outskirts of town. Residential areas did not play into the reasons for doing the study, he said.

But Perkins cautioned that Selma’s economic well being could be seriously damaged if areas such as Selmont and Valley Grande incorporate due to what he termed an &uot;overreaction&uot; to the study being released early.

City Council members voiced concern that the city would become landlocked, unable to grow anywhere because it would be hampered about city limits for those areas.

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw agreed.

Delaney was asked if she would recommend that the city annex the areas she studied.

Perkins and Evans both said they want to get the residents of Valley Grande and Selmont, among other areas, involved in taking a deeper look at the study and seeing what is actually there. Evans said if necessary, the council will hold another meeting in which the public is invited to hear an in-depth study of the annexation fesability study.