Workshop focuses on redevelopment

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma residents and officials discuss ways to bring life to some of Selma&8217;s properties with potential at a conference

held at 9 a.m., Wednesday, at the St. James Hotel.

Email newsletter signup

Debra Love, who is working with the city on &8220;brownfield&8221; projects, part of the Environmental Protection Agency program, said concentration has been focused on the riverfront and downtown area.

The city&8217;s landfills could be used as an example of what are called &8220;brownfields,&8221; which are described as remnants of an industrial era.

They describe abandoned or barely functioning manufacturing sites; closed commercial facilities, dying malls, and abandoned gas stations as brownfields.

Camilla Warren of the EPA

and Larry Norris of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management spoke on the EPA&8217;s Brownsfield Program and the Alabama Redevelopment Program.

The Federal programs available manage the process of revitalizing brownfields, which require knowledge of resources available and how to access them.

In 2006, the City of Selma was selected to receive a brownfields assessment grant. At that time, the community was described has having exceptionally high rates of coronary disease and lung, breast and colon cancer reported among the city&8217;s African-American population.

The community description also noted that brownfields are concentrated in minority neighborhoods and have had a negative impact on the entire city&8217;s economy.

An update on the 2006 grant was not available from the EPA.

Representatives from the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and the United States Department of Agriculture spoke on locating resources for area projects.

Community representatives were present, including Selma&8217;s ArtsRevive, Love said.