Council to host hearing regrading Legrande Street

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

The city of Selma will hold a public hearing to allow the community to discuss whether or not they approve of Legrande Street being renamed to F.D. Reese Street.

On Tuesday, July 23 at 4 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, City Attorney Jimmy Nunn will ask anyone who wants to participate to come and join the conversation about the possible name change. The council has not yet brought the change to a vote, but Nunn said the hearing is all part of that process.

“Procedurally there was a petition done by the residents who live on the street and a councilman received the signatures from the residents who live on Legrande,” Nunn said about the first step of the street name change. “The resolution says the petition has to have at least 50 percent of the signatures of the residents to proceed.”

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In addition to a petition, someone paid the $1,000 fee required to go forward with the change. Next the residents will have a chance to go before the council in a public hearing.

“Following that, a survey will be done,” Nunn said. “Someone will go to every person who lives on Legrande Street and take an actual vote. We will do a ballot and walk from residence to residence to see if, yes or no, they want the street name changed. The mayor will appoint a city official to do that.”

Those ballots will be opened by the city council in the council chambers and then the council will take action on the name change following that, Nunn said.

“There may be modifications once that comes back,” he said. “I think at this point they are asking for all of Legrande Street, but the city council may modify that and say, ‘We will do it from this street to this street,’ or just a portion — or they may do none of it.”

F.D. Reese has been the pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church for the last 48 years and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to improve voter registration for blacks in Selma during the 1965 civil rights movement. Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church currently sits on Legrande Street.

Reese and other ministers were in a group formerly known as the Dallas County Voter’s League that worked to make voting rights a reality and Reese was the president of the league.

Reese’s wife, Alline C. Reese, has been before the council requesting the street name change and she has helped organize the change request by paying the required fee.

Nunn said once the council takes action, the city clerk would notify all residents, utilities and the U.S. Postal Service. The public works department would evaluate the cost of changing the street signs.