Selmont grappling with own identity

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2003

Selmont doesn’t want to incorporate. Selmont wants to incorporate.

The Selma City Council has been hearing that message since Dallas County Commissioner Connell Towns stood before the council March 17 and said he, along with many Selmont residents, didn’t support incorporation efforts.

At an April 10 meeting, though, Mae Taylor-Richmond &045;&045; a member of the Selmont Community Organization Revitalizing Economic Development (SCORED) Coalition &045;&045; said members of the community instructed the committee to proceed with incorporation.

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Towns, though, doesn’t agree.

Selmont doesn’t have the resources needed for incorporation, such as its own fire and police departments, he said. Also, the community lies in a flood plain.

Instead of incorporation, Towns said he wanted Selmont to work with Selma.

Towns said he doesn’t think a majority of Selmont residents favor incorporation. They’d rather stay the way they are now &045;&045; a part of the county, but receiving fire and police protection from Selma.

Concerning the SCORED Coalition’s view, Towns said he wasn’t a member of the committee because he doesn’t work with those that don’t put the best interests of the people first.

Towns contended that working with the City Council, not incorporating, was the best way to solve Selmont’s fire- and police-protection problems.

Towns also doesn’t see Selmont being annexed by Selma. If that happened, Selma would be responsible for fixing streetlights and paving roads in addition to providing police and fire protection for all annexed areas.

Jacqueline Anderson, one Selmont resident present at the April 10 meeting, disagreed with Towns’ stance on incorporation. Anderson said Selmont’s incorporation would benefit the area and generate funds.

Police protection would be an issue until the community could gain grants to provide for the service, she said, but until then, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department could be relied on for protection.

Selmont residents are still gathering names in favor of incorporation, Anderson said.