City’s intentions on annexation still unclear

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 29, 2002

It was an interesting move Monday when the city of Selma declared it is out of the annexation business – at least as far as the Valley Grande area is concerned.

Mayor Perkins presented a resolution to council that Perkins said publicizes the city’s stance on annexation. It stated: “Whereas, the City of Selma in its Strategic Developmental Planning and Annexation efforts has no past, present or future desire to annex Valley Grande.”

The resolution passed 6-2.

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The city of Selma needed to make this statement, but we wonder if it is too little and too late. Valley Grande is sure to incorporate and has set an election for Jan. 9 to do just that.

Perkins initially said back in October that a 66-page annexation study purchased by the city was just that – a study. But few county residents north of the city believed Perkins. While the city has said it does not have immediate plans to annex, it has also asked city attorney Jimmy Nunn to look into options the city can use to stop the incorporation process.

Back on Nov. 29, city council voted for Nunn to look into ways to “safeguard the city,” as Councilwoman Nancy Sewell stated it. It’s clear that the city of Selma intends to protect its interests and avoid becoming landlocked.

It’s difficult, at times, to know what to believe or, better said, what exactly the city wants to accomplish with annexation. The city is spending money on annexation studies, yet this week it says it won’t annex Valley Grande.

Was the resolution an effort to get the leaders of the Valley Grande incorporation “back to the table” and talking?

If that’s the intention, it probably won’t work. The Valley Grande leaders have never been willing to come to the table and do much talking with the city – at least publicly. They choose to plug their ears and move forward.

We are probably going to end up with a new city north of Selma. It remains to be seen if that city has an appetite for growing and annexing.

Meanwhile, we hope the city of Selma moves to become much clearer on its annexation strategy. The KPS Group out of Birmingham is conducting a study that will look at a targeted approach to annexation that will focus on the Selma’s key entrances.

That study should be complete in January and we hope the city will use the study to tell us what it wants to annex and when it wants to do it.

It is the vague and nebulous that breeds fear and dissension, and that’s something we just don’t need.