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Broad Street gets some TLC from volunteers

By JUSTIN SMITH | The Selma Times-Journal

Main Street Selma was out in full force Saturday working to cleanup downtown and try to improve the look of vacant buildings.

In addition to picking up litter, Main Street volunteers cleaned windows and painted.

The organization also experimented with posters in the windows of empty storefronts. The decals are designed to encourage people to shop and spend more time in downtown Selma.

“One of things we wanted to do with some of the vacant buildings is to both make them look more aesthetically pleasing and draw somebody’s attention so they may stop and think I want to shop [in Selma],” volunteer Terry Lee said.

The organization may continue putting decals in more vacant buildings with permission from owners.

Saturday’s cleanup had a tinge of nostalgia about it and how things have changed over the decades.

“Unfortunately, back in the 60s and 70s when they started building strip malls and super centers, it took away a lot of business from downtown,” Lee said.

Main Street Selma has undergone several changes in recent years itself. The Main Street Selma chapter is one of 20 or so in Alabama.

Before that, Main Street was called the Downtown Selma Association and operated out of an office at Selma City Hall and was funded in large part by the Selma City Council.

However, that funding has been lost, and the organization finds itself at a crossroads and must decide whether it wants to continue as a Main Street program or evolve into something else.

Whatever it becomes, the organization still has several events down the pipeline to continue its mission of supporting downtown. Members will go before the Selma City Council searching for a permanent home for the Jeffrey the Ghost sculpture that Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas created last year.

The organization is also working on planning several events for the summer and fall and getting businesses involved.

To become a Main Street member, visit the Selma Welcome Center or email mainstreetselma@gmail.com.