YMCA likely to join city

Published 3:34 pm Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Selma City Council continued its discussion to annex the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County into its city limits Thursday.

Only the footprint of the YMCA would be included in the annexation, according to Selma City Councilwoman Susan Keith.

Keith represents Selma’s Ward 2, which if annexed, would include the YMCA.

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The reasoning for the annexation partly includes an increase in the city’s lodging tax passed in early 2013, according to Keith. The increase added an additional $2 per room, per night on all hotels located in the city limits and police jurisdiction. A portion of the fee helps fund the YMCA.

“The Y came to the city for help and we gladly helped them because the Y is very important to the city,” Keith said. “At the time, we knew that the Y wasn’t in the city limits, but I think the intention was for them to be. It just so happens that their land ended up not being in the city limits.”

Keith said the main reasoning behind the annexation is a YMCA board vote in favor of the move.

“The tax isn’t the main reason, but it just makes more sense because of it,” she said. “When they came to us and asked for help, that’s when we decided to go ahead with plans to annex the Y. I’m excited because I’ll be able to claim it; it’ll be in my ward.”

Annexation plans hit a small snag during Thursday’s city council meeting.

City attorney Jimmy Nunn was preparing to present a petition to annex the YMCA during Thursday’s work session, but discovered the boundaries of the city limits do not currently touch the YMCA property.

Nunn said the city limits include the eastern side of Medical Center Parkway, but end at the road’s median. Because the city limits do not touch the footprint of the YMCA, Nunn said he would continue looking into ways to successfully annex the building.

Once annexation is complete, Keith said she hopes to partner with the YMCA on several different ideas, including using the building as a meeting place for her ward and a voting location.

Keith said she would also like to add soccer fields to the YMCA’s complex.

“The YMCA currently has soccer teams, but we are unable to have guest teams come to Selma because we don’t have a soccer field,” she said. “We could help them put soccer fields in now, but it’s more important to take care of city things first, things that are within the city’s limits.”