Building face lifts garner support

Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The development along the corner of Water Avenue and Broad Street got another boost Tuesday when the Selma City Council approved funds for further renovation work near the new Selma Interpretive Center.

Using funds from each council member’s oil lease funds, a majority of the council voted to go ahead with plans to fix the facades of buildings lining Broad Street and Hinton Avenue.

The façade renovation work is part of the larger Interpretive Center effort in downtown Selma that has seen some of the project curtailed because of slowing federal and state funds.

Email newsletter signup

“I am really excited to see this project move ahead,” city council member Corey Bowie said. Bowie, who represents Ward 8, where the buildings are located, approved $7,000 from his oil lease fund to be used toward the project.

Overall, the council approved the projected $48,450 to pay for the cleaning, priming, painting and other façade work needed on the buildings.

“This is a huge project for the city of Selma and the Interpretive Center will continue to grow into a huge tourist attraction for the city,” Selma mayor George Evans said. Evans also allocated a portion of oil lease funds to the project.

As part of the overall Interpretive Center project, the buildings that neighbored the Center had fallen into a state of disrepair, with some of the buildings falling in and leaving just the façade.

Some of the money spent already by the federal and state governments, in addition to renovating the center building, was used to stabilize the neighboring buildings and facades.

Evans said work should begin soon on bringing the outer appearances of the buildings up to the standards of the partially completed Interpretive Center.

Council members Tommy Atchison, Susan Keith, Angela Benjamin, Sam Randolph, B.L. Tucker and council president Cecil Williamson joined Bowie and Evans in spending portions of their oil lease funds on the project. Council member Bennie Ruth Crenshaw did not join in the project, declining saying she had other plans to spend portions of her oil lease funds on projects in her district.