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City budget tops Ward 4 meeting

The city of Selma’s financial budget dominated the Ward 4 Quarterly meeting on Tuesday at Cedar Park Elementary School.

Ward 4 City Councilwoman Angela Benjamin and City Treasurer Ronita Wade addressed the district residents on the upcoming fiscal year.

Wade said a phase of the 2019 budget is underway. She sent a revenue projection to mayor Darrio Melton. Wade and City Council President Corey Bowie both plan to meet with Melton about the budget soon.

“The revenue could go up,” Wade said. “We have a lot of needs for the city, but we have a limited budget. We’ve got to make tough choices. It’s critical we don’t overextend our debt and see what our needs are.”

The city is operating on last year’s budget, which was $17.9 million.

“We have to make smart choices,” Benjamin said.

Cedar Park Elementary possibly closing again was also discussed. The school was on the closing block last year, but remained open. On Aug. 25, Cedar Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary. In December, the school will know if it will remain open.

“I’m sad to share that,” Cedar Park Elementary Principal Dr. Doris Cuteton said.

The other subject addressed was Ward 4’s ditch project in conjunction with Ward 5 and Ward 6. Benjamin, Sam Randolph and John Leashore, City Councilmen for Ward 5 and Ward 6, respectively, are all paying for ditches in their districts to get cleaned.

Benjamin said the contractor will present them with a schedule for the ditch cleaning.

Ward 4 is still in the process of getting a neighborhood watch, but 60 percent of the residents must sign the petition for approval.

“To solve these problems, we need people to get involved,” Benjamin said

Present for the Ward 4 meeting were City Attorney/Probate judge-elect Jimmy Nunn, Bowie and Ward 7 Councilwoman Jannie Thomas.

The Selma City Council Work Session will be held on Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. The regular council meeting will be on Aug. 14 at p.m.