Council contemplates street ball ban

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 26, 2004

An ordinance currently being examined by the Selma City Council would ban basketball from city streets if adopted.

The ordinance came before the council at its Monday meeting. No decision was made at the meeting, but it’s expected the matter will return at the council’s March 8 meeting.

The ordinance states that, &uot;It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any kind of ball playing on the streets or sidewalks of the City of Selma.&uot;

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw said that if children couldn’t play basketball on city streets, they must have facilities elsewhere.

Perkins agreed. &uot;If we ban goals in the streets, we’re going to have to give them an alternative,&uot; he said.

One alternative included the refurbishment of basketball courts around the city.

However, Perkins said it would cost about $106,000 to repair goals and install fences. He added that City Recreation Director Elton Reese wanted to remind the council that gymnasiums existed across the city.

Perkins told the council that he had asked City Treasurer Cynthia Mitchell to figure out the cost of placing supervisors at basketball courts.

Mitchell is currently researching the issue, but Perkins noted that once a part-time employee reached 29 1/2 hours a week, they must receive full-time benefits.

According to Perkins, crossing guards work 20 hours a week.

Nine additional hours a week, which wouldn’t require full-time benefits, would cost about $1,540.11 per crossing guard.

An additional 20 hours a week would cost about $4,700 per guard.

Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin said she was concerned about safety.

&uot;Streets are for cars,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s an accident waiting to happen.&uot;

Crenshaw, though, said that people playing basketball could see

the cars. &uot;I just have a problem with disrespect,&uot; she added.