Selmont discusses available options

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Members of the Selmont community met Tuesday night in the Tipton Junior High Gymnasium to discuss the issues of annexation and incorporation.

Mae Richmond, a resident of Selmont, said that the meeting’s purpose was to get a feel from the community about the issues.

Richmond said that at the last such meeting Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. had asked that no decision be made until an annexation study by the KPS Group was completed.

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Last week Darrell Meyer of KPS Group gave a presentation on that study. In the study Meyer presented a focused plan that suggested businesses in Selma’s entrance ways be annexed. The plan also called for Selma to pull its police jurisdiction back to the city limits.

William Meyer, another Selmont resident concerned about the annexation issue, said that Selma would no longer provide police protection past the city limits if the plan were implemented.

State Rep. Yusef Salaam, whose District 67 includes Selmont, said that annexation through an act of the Legislature would require the votes of not only himself, but also state Rep. James Thomas and state Sen. Hank Sanders.

Salaam said that he was against anything that went against the will of the people.

Salaam also said that he didn’t want to discuss the advantages of either annexation or incorporation because he didn’t want to undermine any other public official. However, he did ask why people would want to become part of Selma if it wasn’t booming.

Perkins said that other cities have already done what’s suggested in the KPS Group plan.

First, Perkins said, those cities stop taxing people in the police jurisdiction. Then they stop services such as fire and police. Finally, they open the process of letting people join with the city if they want services.

Concerning the incorporation of Valley Grande, Perkins said that the new town was planning on annexing Summerfield and then Potter’s Station in an effort to landlock Selma.

Perkins said the Selma City Council is scheduled to look at proposed resolutions concerning annexation and maps of the areas when it meets today at 5 p.m.

As to when a decision by the council concerning those resolutions might be forthcoming, Perkins said he didn’t know if it would occur tonight but that he wanted them to take action on them.

One attendee of the meeting said that he hoped people at last night’s meeting would be at today’s council meeting and let council members know how they feel.