• 52°

Valley Grande files

Incorporation moves one step closer to reality

By Alan Riquelmy / Selma Times – Journal

Incorporation papers were filed Friday morning on behalf of Valley Grande residents who want to incorporate.

Mike Henderson, office manager for attorneys J. Doyle Fuller and Susan G. Copeland who have worked the incorporation process, filed the petition with Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones just before noon.

Monday at 2:30, Jones will hold a hearing to go over the evidence that is in the petition.

If the petition meets the requirements set forth by state law, Jones said that a date will be set for an election to decide if the area will incorporate.

Valley Grande is a largely rural area north of Selma. The filing of the incorporation papers ended weeks of speculation that Valley Grande might incorporate in order to block what some perceive as certain annexation by the city of Selma.

According to the Code of Alabama, the probate judge must order an election to be held within 30 days of the petition being filed.

Some items in the papers that were filed include a metes and bounds description for the proposed incorporation area, a map of the area, the petition for order of incorporation, and a list of those who signed the petition.

The proposed area of incorporation is about 3,527.5 acres.

Selma City Councilwoman Nancy G. Sewell said that she regrets that Valley Grande residents took action on incorporation based on a feasibility study.

Sewell was referring to &uot;The City of Selma Annexation Feasibility Study,&uot; a 66-page document describing the economic impact of annexation on Selma and surrounding areas.

Sewell also said that Selma needs room to grow and expand, and not be landlocked.

Councilwoman Jean Martin also wants surrounding areas to work together and not split apart.

Martin also said that she isn’t sure that the Valley Grande residents have considered what incorporation really means.

She added that if they do incorporate then they’ll have to start thinking about collecting money so they can provide fire and police protection.

According to the Code of Alabama, a petition for incorporation must be signed by at least 15 percent of the qualified electors living inside the limits of the proposed area of incorporation.