Grant a good start

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Selma is an old city – established in 1820 – and in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing.

As far as environmental assessments, however, there are a lot of older buildings and properties that need to be looked at and evaluated as to their potential for expansion, redevelopment or reuse.

In that regard, the city is getting a little boost from the Environmental Protection Agency with a $200,000 Brownfield Grant.

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The money will be used for assessment to determine ability to revitalize some of Selma’s properties.

Selma was one of three Alabama cities to receive the grant, with Tuscaloosa and Tarrant awarded funds as well.

A brownfield is a term the EPA uses to describe areas where the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants may hinder expansion, redevelopment or reuse.

It is the hope of the city that the affected sites can be used once again and help local industry.

One of the main areas of focus is the riverfront district and a lot of the properties in the area.

Several of the buildings previously contained businesses, and once the assessment is done, other businesses may locate there in the future.

The grant will help provide positive economic growth for the city.

Let’s face it. We need economic growth. Tourism and downtown redevelopment is the strongest advantage this city has and officials should make every effort to have the area reach its fullest potential.

This grant money gives the city money to jump start that effort.