City closer to reaching resolution on proposed issue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

A vote on a bond issue that would see construction of a movie theater and a library expansion may soon become a reality.

The Selma City Council put a draft of the ordinance for a bond issue referendum on first reading Monday night. That means the council could vote on the ordinance at its next meeting Nov. 19.

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The decision came after a robust discussion and question-and-answer session with Mayor James Perkins Jr. that centered chiefly on finances. Perkins brought in a team of investment bankers, who are working on the project. The council also considered the costs of holding an election and the price of issuing bonds, should voters approve the proposal.

“I believe we need to make sure we know what the citizens want,” said Council member Reid Cain. “We are elected to protect citizens’ interests.”

The $1.4 million library expansion included in the proposal raised some questions as at least one council member wondered if the library could afford to support more room, considering an apparent ongoing struggle to pay its utility bill.

Council member Bennie Ruth Crenshaw of Ward 8 wanted to let the library decide the issue. Perkins said if voters approved the bond issue, the expansion would be completed in 2010 or 2011 and perhaps utilities wouldn’t be an issue.

“The public has not opposed…any of this,” Perkins said. “We are elected by the public. That’s all I have to say. What I ask is for the citizens to vote.”