Public buildings committee meets Wednesday

Published 6:36 pm Monday, February 2, 2009

Various groups meet for free at city-owned buildings, and while the city appreciates the civic and arts groups’ activities Selma can’t afford to lose money.

And that’s what the city has done — lost nearly $30,000 in fees last year alone, according to Councilman Corey Bowie, who chairs the Selma City Council public buildings committee.

“That could be in the general fund,” he said.

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Usually, the public and groups reserve the Performing Arts Center and the Morgan Convention Center for events. Generally, a rate is charged for these buildings, but council members and others receive use of the structures for free. So, a group could go through the council person and not have to pay the fee.

That leaves the city holding an empty bag filled with utility and janitorial bills.

Bowie’s committee will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Performing Arts Building to discuss how to keep the financial bleeding at bay.

If necessary, the committee is prepared to recommend some rule changes to prevent freeloaders, Bowie said.

“These are hard times, and this is one way we can help,” he said.