New annex plans cause stir

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The first of two meetings about annexation from a Birmingham company didn’t convince everyone of its merits.

Darrell Meyer, senior vice president of KPS Group, explained a focused annexation strategy to a crowded City Council chambers Tuesday night.

He will present the strategy again tonight at 6 p.m. in the City Council stories.

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Bill Hall of Deerfield said he didn’t know what to expect of the meeting. However, he did say that he felt sorry for business owners that wouldn’t get a choice about annexation.

During the presentation, Meyer said that part of the plan’s implementation would be to annex public roadway rights-of-way and adjacent properties having strategic value for commercial and industrial use.

Another phase of the annexation’s implementation would reduce the police jurisdiction back to the Selma city limits, Meyer said.

Projected revenues from annexation, he added, would total $588,469.

Tommy Beach of Valley Grande said he felt that there was a lot that was left unsaid at the meeting.

A pretty picture was painted Tuesday night, Beach said, but it was &uot;not necessarily the whole truth.&uot;

One Summerfield resident said she didn’t hear anything at the meeting concerning annexation and incorporation as it applied to her community.

During the question and answer portion of the meeting, Herb Story of Valley Grande asked Meyer how it would be possible for Selma to control the appearance of its entrance corridors if the city only annexed businesses.

Meyer responded by saying most problem areas were closed businesses that had old tires in the area or were dilapidated.

Story then asked if Meyer had seen any houses that looked that way, and Meyer said that he had.

Concerning the annexation of homes, Mayor James Perkins Jr. said that Selma never had the intention to annex residences.

Meyer’s presentation focused on the proposed annexation of parts of US Highway 80 East and West, State Route 14 East, and State Route 22 East and West.

The image of the community, Meyer said, was very important.

He also said that poorly organized gateways into Selma portrayed the wrong image, and that the City Council agreed at a meeting Dec. 9, 2002, when they said the gateways didn’t meet their standards.

Selma can set and enforce development standards that the county can’t, he added.

Meyer said that there were three methods of annexing &045;&045; a special act of the legislature, a general statute or unanimous consent by petition of property owners.