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City hopes to replace Memorial Stadium lighting system

Selma city officials hope federal money will be available from a Department of Energy grant to replace Memorial Stadium’s lighting system.

The grant would provide $214,000 to renovate the 35-year-old lights at the football stadium, and Selma Parks and Recreation Director Elton Reece said Wednesday a bond issue would be needed to handle other improvements.

“The total cost of the renovations would be $1.3 million,” Reece said, including the Memorial Stadium lighting. “This and the police department would be the focal points of the bond issue.”

Selma voters defeated a bond issue for stadium improvements — among other things — last year.

The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program provides grants to make strategic investments to meet the nation’s long-term goals for energy independence. More than 2,300 governments are eligible for direct formula grants from DOE. Competitive grants are also available under the program.

Memorial Stadium serves as the football site for Selma High School and Concordia College, while Central Christian Academy also has games there.

Reece said the lighting configuration would change at Memorial Stadium. In the bond issue, Bloch Park’s lights would change and other renovations would be made.

“Memorial Stadium has six 90-foot light poles,” Reece said. “Now they can be put on four poles for $214,000.”

At Bloch Park, the eight 80-foot poles would change to six 90-foot poles for $150,000.

“We hosted the state high school track meets from 1971-1998 and we still run the AISA meets,” Reece said. “It hasn’t been resurfaced in 15 years.”

Also included in the bond renovations are the bathrooms, dressing rooms and concession stands.

Selma Planning and Development Director Charlotte Griffith presented the grant proposal to the city council Tuesday night. Repeated calls to her office Wednesday were not returned.