“Targeted approach” key to study

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 13, 2002

It’s being billed not as a new annexation study, but as a &uot;strategic development concept with an eye toward annexation.&uot;

At its regular meeting Monday, the Selma City Council voted 7 to 1 to approve the study, which is being conducted by the KPS Group of Birmingham.

The study is expected to cost $25,000 and should be completed around the end of January.

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The study is an outgrowth of an earlier City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study, completed in September.

That study, which took a broad look at the feasibility of annexing part or all of the roughly 200 square miles surrounding Selma, touched off a minor furor among some Dallas County residents who feared that annexation was imminent.

A number of residents in the Valley Grande area responded to the earlier study by organizing a drive to incorporate to fend off any possibility of annexation.

They are expected to file a petition to incorporate with the Dallas County probate judge, as required by law, before the end of the year.

KPS was not involved in that earlier study.

Meyer termed the newest study a &uot;targeted approach&uot; to annexation.

Asked to describe how a prospective industry might currently view some of the approaches to Selma, Meyer demurred.

Was he intimating that the initial impression left by approaching Selma through, say, Selmont is one of an unkempt, unprogressive, trashy, dying-on-the-vine town with little or no prospects for the future?

The new study, he added, is intended to consider ways to give Selma greater control over how it is viewed by prospective industries that might wish to locate here.

The targeted approach being considerd in the new study would involve annexing not large general areas, but the corridors leading into the city such as the eastern and western approaches to Selma along U.S. Highway 80.

That, according to Meyer, would involve annexing primarily business properties rather than residential properties.

He added that it would be difficult to predict which corridors, if any, the study will recommend the city consider annexing until it is complete, which should be sometime around the end of January.

The KPS Group is the largest planning group in the state.

It includes landscape architects, interior designers and specialists in planning &uot;from the regional level all the way down to site preparation,&uot; according to Meyer.