Selma gets early Christmas present

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday night, Congressman Artur Davis held a Town Hall meeting in Selma and gave the city an early Christmas present – $400,000 for the Selma Streetscape project.

The federal appropriation will help the revitalization effort in downtown Selma along Water Avenue.

The funds were secured with the passage of the Congressional Transportation Conference Report, and will serve as a match for funds received by the city from the state.

The funds will be used for improvements like sidewalk reconstruction, underground utility service and public/private business development.

Just the cost for placing the power lines underground along Water Avenue has been estimated at $500,000.

The announcement is a shot in the arm for Selma’s downtown revitalization effort.

For downtowns to remain vital and active, there are several things that are advocated by Main Street, a project of the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

A return to community self-reliance

Local empowerment

The rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community.

Selma already has several of those components in its downtown.

A stepped-up effort to renovate the streets, bury the power lines and recruit new businesses to downtown will further serve to promote growth in the Queen City.