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A vision, work needed for Selmont

A vision for Selmont is badly needed. It’s good to see some work beginning on projects, even if they’re on paper right now. The attention is drawn to the site.

For too long, Selmont has been “the wrong side of the bridge,” noted for its lack of law and order as much as for its appearance similar to the back side of a tenement in the worst part of New York.

Tuesday night’s planning session at Beloved Apostolic Church of God on Roosevelt Street matched Selmont residents, those interested in the community’s survival and federal and state officials. Residents and others picked up color markers to draw their vision of Selmont. Some of the ideas were as basic as a revitalization of U.S. Highway 80, which links Selmont to Montgomery and, once over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to Selma. Other suggestions: raze the unsightly buildings in and around Selmont, drive out the drug dealers and in their steads see physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other service-oriented businesses sought by individuals who live in the community.

Equally important as their ideas they drew on paper, the residents of Selmont and those others interested in the community’s rehabilitation must be willing to roll up their sleeves and go to work to make their visions reality.

Selmont has undergone the first steps to rehabilitation: recognizing issues and gathering ideas for solutions. The next step is to focus on the larger vision of a better Selmont, but taking smaller steps to move the community forward as those who participate in this revitalization stay focused. The issues faced by this community didn’t bundle up overnight. The solutions will not come quickly, either.