City council to vote for downtown redevelopment board

Published 8:15 pm Monday, January 9, 2017

The Selma City Council will vote on four seats on the Downtown Redevelopment Authority Tuesday.

City council President Corey Bowie said the DRA is tasked with finding ways downtown Selma can be improved and redeveloped.

“Within the last two years there’s been a push for a redevelopment of the whole downtown area,” Bowie said. “The first part we’re voting on tomorrow is four new board members, and the second half of it is we’re going to vote on a designated area.”

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Bowie said one seat is being reappointed, and three others will see new members, and the area they are going to focus their attention on is from Water Avenue to J.L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard.

According to the city of Selma’s website, the board consists of 11 members. Four members serve six-year terms, four serve four-year terms and three serve two-year terms.

“It’s basically a collaborative effort with the other efforts downtown to make downtown more lively,” Bowie said. “That could be anything from the entertainment part of it, and also we’re looking at maybe some other possibilities that we can do to try to liven up downtown like other surrounding areas.”

Bowie said there is a drive to redevelop downtown, and that is one of the current focal points. Bowie said there are also seats on the board opening in May. Tommy Atchison, Johnny Moss Jr., Harold Speir and Clint Wilkinson’s terms are expiring, according to the city’s website.

“We’re trying to blend everything downtown with the arts and entertainment districts, we’re looking at the arts, and then we’re looking at the redevelopment of it. We’re just trying to keep downtown a vibrant area,” he said.

Bowie said the board could work with other entities like Main Street Selma who are also focusing on turning downtown Selma into a thriving arts and entertainment district.

Bowie said the board could solicit grants and look for opportunities out there to help redevelop the area.

“It’s working along with the city of Selma and all of the other entities that are currently downtown,” Bowie said. “I think it can be very beneficial, and I’m looking at long-term results. It’s really going to help in many phases.”