Trees cut down along Water Avenue

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Two trees growing close to power lines on Water Avenue were cut down Tuesday morning.

Two trees growing close to power lines on Water Avenue were cut down Tuesday morning.

Two trees were cut down on Water Avenue on Tuesday morning at the request of Alabama Power.

“We needed to trim those trees. They were growing into the power lines,” said Mike Jordan, a spokesman for Alabama Power.

Jordan said he’s unsure if there were any service issues related to the trees, but said the city of Selma granted permission to cut them.

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When passersby saw the trees being cut Tuesday morning, they might have thought it was related to the three-year-old Streetscape project, which will involve revamping sidewalks, parking and lights along Water Avenue.

That doesn’t appear to be the case.

Selma Mayor George Evans said he was unaware of the tree cutting Tuesday morning.

He said the Water Avenue project is still on hold, waiting on an amended plan from Josh Pierce, an engineer with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.

The city was awarded a $435,000 grant for the project in 2013 by the Alabama Department of Transportation, but construction was delayed on the project until after the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Evans said in May when bids came back on the project, all of them were well above the total of the grant.

“We have to rebid all that because the initial bids came in way over budget,” Evans said. “We have to cut back on some things we are going to do … and not lose the money because we failed to use it.”

Evans said he plans to have a town hall once a finalized plan is in place and bids have been made on the project.

“That project will be ongoing real soon,” Evans said.

Pierce is out of the office and not available to return a call Tuesday afternoon.