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Downtown project may get $150,000

Selma’s Downtown Revitalization Project may be getting a Christmas present of sorts from the U.S. Congress after the first of the year.

Last week U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, announced congressional appropriations for the 7th district totaling nearly $45 million. The Downtown Revitalization Project is expected to receive about $150,000 of that.

The Downtown Revitalization Project is an effort being put forth by the city to approve the appearance and increase the number of merchants in the downtown area. The project is still in the early stages of planning.

According to Corey Ealons, Davis’ deputy chief of staff, the money is part of the Fiscal Year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives during its final session before a holiday break.

Now that the House bill has approved the bill, Ealons said, the Senate is expected to consider the bill for final passage at the beginning of the second session of Congress in late January. &uot;We have cleared this first hurdle,&uot; Ealons said. &uot;Now we are just waiting on the Senate.&uot;

Ealons said the appropriations bill is the result of a conference report between members of the House and Senate.

In a statement, Davis said the appropriations are a product of bipartisan assistance from Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, as well as his colleagues who serve on the House Appropriations Committee.