Historic building problem not new

Published 9:43 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It’s a shame to the community and history that a building as rich in heritage, such as the Good Samaritan Center, should lay fallow. It its as much a shame that the center, which saw the best of times as a hospital and nursing home, should become the center of debate along racial lines, for the most part.

If we look at the situation rationally, the fate of the Good Samaritan Center does not rest with the Selma City Council. At one point, city officials reached out and attempted to keep the building open But hard times and high debts showed up like an unwanted guest at a dinner party and has forced the city to look hard at the value of keeping the center open.

In a time when city workers are laid off and budget cuts gut the city’s finances, this is no time for local government to stand up and act the hero.

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At the same time, those who cry foul, instead of allowing their emotions and mouths to run rampant, need to settle down and put together a plan to keep the old building in good repair. This would be a perfect time for some kind of public and private partnership if the building is returned to the state.

This situation with the Good Samaritan Center did not occur overnight. As much as two years ago, at least one city councilman and another former city councilman raised questions about the viability of the city’s involvement. Now, the chickens have come home to roost.