New laws help Selma and its residents

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2003

The Alabama Historical Commission met Tuesday in the Performing Arts Center. Items of business included committee reports, a public forum and news of Selma’s own Hardee house.

The Hardee house is located at the corner of Dallas Avenue and Lapsley Street. In recent weeks signs of stabilization have been visible.

Previously, the Selma City Council chose to use a new law to repair the house, which had become a hazard. Passed in the summer of 2002, the municipal improvements law allows cities to repair a structure and then put a lien against it. In the past they could only demolish the building and put a lien against the property.

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As it turned out, action by the city wasn’t needed. A private individual purchased the home at a tax sale and began stabilizing it.

According to Patty Sexton with Selma’s community development office, the new owner took advantage of another recent law &045;&045; the lien redemption law. If the previous owner redeems her property, she will have to pay the current owner a 12 percent return on any improvements made.

Both of these laws not only serve the interests of the Alabama Historic Commission, they also serve the citizens of Selma.

The Hardee house is just one example of Selma’s rich history. Left untouched, it would have eventually fallen into complete disrepair.

Laws such as the lien redemption and municipal improvements laws give cities and individuals the tools to keep our history alive and growing.Instead of becoming an eye-sore Selma would have torn down, the house is now stabilized and awaiting renovation.

Confederate Col. William J. Hardee moved to Selma after the Civil War and built his house. He is buried at Old Live Oak Cemetery. His memory is a part of Selma’s history.

And because of actions taken by those who treasure Alabama’s history, we don’t have to settle with only talking about Hardee.

We can go to his house and see it.