Entertainment district needed planning

Published 8:38 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday was the test run of the entertainment district. It was supposed to be the time to see where problems exist and correct them for future events.

By all accounts, the turnout was minimal during daytime activities for the now annual Jazz on the Grazz event. As the night progressed perhaps bar patrons added to the crowd and filed onto the streets. Regardless, rules for the district are minimal and several questions remain.

If a Selma resident wanted to get a drink at the Vineyard and walk to the Waterfront Lounge, with alcoholic drink in hand, and continue his night of fun, would he be arrested?

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What about cups? Do all of the licensed liquor establishments on Water Avenue have plastic or syrofoam cups, instead of glass, which could cause obvious problems when dropped?

From the discussions that our reporters have had, city officials were still sorting out final details with a entertainment district steering committee when Ward 4 councilwoman Angela Benjamin pushed the proposal through for Jazz on the Grazz.

The city should have drafted a firm plan before moving forward. All that exists now is uncertainty.

Bars and restaurants on Water Avenue aren’t properly informed about how to conduct business in the new entertainment district. And, we aren’t sure all city council members know the rules either. Do Dallas County residents even know they can openly carry alcohol on Water Avenue?

There’s a lot of talk about grandiose ideas and plans, but without actually hammering out details, the entertainment district is little more than a nice idea.

A thriving downtown could be a key to Selma’s cultural revitalization, and unless city government completely commits itself to improvement, the city will largely remain in the same shape it’s been in for decades.