City should study closely the marina issue

Published 6:46 pm Saturday, January 2, 2010

Next week the Selma City Council Parks and Recreation Committee will discuss, among other things, the fate of the Selma City Marina.

Elton Reece, executive director of the Selma Recreation Department, has said he has plans for construction of a new building on the site, which the city owns.

Previously, the city did not own the restaurant destroyed by fire in September. The city owned the land. The restaurant was popular among Selmians.

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The city has some options. It could build and operate the concessions. This would place the city in competition with other businesses and draw on already limited resources, financially and with employees. The city could build a structure and offer the business to the person or people who offer the greatest percentage of the profits to return to city coffers.

The city could offer to lease the spot of land, as it has before, and allow private enterprise to come in , pay the lease and build the structure, similar to what the initial City Marina restaurant owners did.

Much discussion should go into this project before a decision. Building in a flood plain is unwise. The Alabama River already is up and covering a major portion of the site.

On top of the basic flooding issue, one has to wonder if the city really wants to get into the restaurant business or be responsible for the upkeep of another building. After all, one doesn’t need to go very far downtown to see the buildings owned by the city and their conditions.