Selma sets priorities for historic district

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Selma’s historic district won’t be improved overnight. Instead, it will develop into the vision city officials have for it one step at a time.

According to Elizabeth Driggers, head of Selma’s office of planning and development, the city is setting its priorities for the historic district. It’s looking at about five highly visible properties in the historic district’s residential area that need improvements.

Driggers’ office has received complaints about certain homes in the district. A number of homes are in disrepair. A home at the corner of Dallas Avenue and Lapsley Street was in need of stabilization before its current owner purchased it and began repairs.

Selma’s code enforcement officer, Henry Hicks, inspected the selected homes. He wrote reports on the properties and gave them to Driggers. Those reports, along with a list of code violations, were sent to the property owners. Those that didn’t respond within 10 days are expected to get a registered letter.

The registered letter will include information on a possible $50 per day fine the city can levy until repairs are made as well as on the Municipal Improvement Act.

The act allows the city to repair a building and then place a lien on the property.

By contacting Driggers’ office, presenting a repair plan and bringing a home into compliance, a homeowner can avoid the consequences of the Municipal Improvement Act.

Patty Sexton, Driggers’ tourism preservation coordinator, said Selma’s historic district was a big reason people visit Alabama. &uot;Selma is one of the most historic cities for tourism,&uot; Sexton said. &uot;We’ve got the Civil War to civil rights.&uot;