Time to focus our attention elsewhere

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2003

It’s time to end the controversy over the quality of Selma’s drinking water.

The Selma Water Works and Sewer Board received a clean bill of health from Tuscaloosa Testing Laboratories (TTL) this week. No traces of coliform or E. coli were found. According to Billy Hicks, chairman of the water board, the board has never been cited by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

The City of Selma and the water board have been at loggerheads over a number of issues &045;&045; including the water’s quality, water board members’ salaries and a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Let’s put at least one of them to rest today.

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The water board states they provide good, clean water. TTL and ADEM back that statement up with their test results and reports. We have seen no clear evidence that ever proved Selma’s drinking water was unsafe.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. has already spent about $1,200 from his discretionary funds to pay Kirit Chapatwala to test 30 water sites across the city. Funds to pay Chapatwala for his latest round of testing will come from the city’s budget.

In a time of financial tight belts, the city doesn’t need to spend money on projects the water board already does. And if trust in the water board’s practices isn’t good enough, we hope results from TTL and ADEM are.

All parties involved need to put politics aside and focus on the real issue &045;&045; ensuring Selma’s water is safe. Previous and recent tests have accomplished that goal.

The city has plenty of other issues to concern itself with &045;&045; such as the reapportionment of city wards, the paving of streets and the day-to-day activities of running the city.

Selma’s water is safe. It’s time to focus our attentions, and our pocketbooks, on something else.