Future of federal building in discussion

Published 11:06 pm Thursday, May 26, 2016

A meeting to discuss the future of the federal building in Selma has been postponed, according to probate judge Kim Ballard.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 1 and was expected to discuss whether ownership of the building would be transferred to another entity.

Ballard said he received an email Wednesday afternoon that cancelled the upcoming meeting. The email came from Jahmal Overton, who is listed as a portfolio manager on the General Services Administration website. A call for Overton late Wednesday afternoon was not returned.

Selma Mayor George Evans had announced the meeting during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Evans said Thursday he wasn’t entirely sure what would be discussed.

He also said the city had not discussed potential ownership of the federal building.

“We have not had any discussion at this point about that — what’s all involved with owning that building, the maintenance of that building, the control of the building and the use of that building,” Evans said. “That would be a question that without going to that meeting and listening to what they’re talking about, I wouldn’t be able to give you an answer to at this point.”

A.J. Turner, the building’s manager through the General Services Administration, said the federal building is currently housing government agencies. One of the offices that remain in the building is one for Rep. Terri Sewell.

Ballard said bankruptcy court was held in the federal building until six months ago, when it was moved to the Dallas County Courthouse.

“We have a congress representative in there and we have a state agency in there right now,” Turner said. “It’s all government agencies.”

Derrick Richardson, the district press secretary for Sewell, said Wednesday he didn’t “have anything for attribution from the congresswoman at this time.”