Tuscaloosa based real estate developer Stan Pate supporting Selma recovery efforts
Published 1:53 pm Monday, January 16, 2023
By Dennis Palmer
The Selma Times-Journal
An unexpected visitor flew into Selma Monday morning on his helicopter bringing advice and a healthy donation to aid in Selma’s recovery from Thursday’s tornado.
Stan Pate, a Tuscaloosa-based real estate developer and entrepreneur, met with Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr. outside of the Dallas County Courthouse just prior to the mayor’s press update. Pate, who is from Buhl, but calls Tuscaloosa his adopted hometown, shared his experiences in Tuscaloosa’s recovery efforts from a 2011 tornado that ravaged the city and killed 43 people in the city and county.
“It’s a pleasure to meet, but not under these circumstances,” Pate said. “We’ve been through this in Tuscaloosa in 2011. I just flew in from Europe last night and I want Selma to know it’s all over European newspapers, from Germany to France, to Sweden.”
Pate warned residents to be cautious about entering into any agreements with what he termed as “con men,” which come to devastated communities like Selma and try to scam residents. He also advised residents not to be quick to accept an insurance company’s terms without doing some due diligence, first.
“The con men are coming,” he said. “They see opportunity and it happened all over Tuscaloosa. The other thing is the insurance company wants to get you to sign. They want you to sign right on the spot. There are experts out there that can help you.”
Pate shared that he understands the importance of Selma to the state, the nation, and the world, and he wants to help rally funding to help recovery efforts.
“On behalf of some hard working employees I have, and some people who have helped me, my home county Tuscaloosa County and my hometown, I’m here to say we care,” Pate said. “You deserve us to come help you. This town has an unbelievable history, some great history and some bad days. I’m glad to help you, and I’m going to be out there trying to get some other folks to come.”
With that, Pate handed over a check for $100,000 to Perkins to be used for recovery efforts.
“That’s powerful,” Perkins said. “We are receiving contributions through a lot of other venues. This is coming in through the Blackbelt Community Foundation, a non-profit that is tax deductible. We really appreciate this so much.”
As recovery efforts ramp up, Pate said he hopes government will allow recovery to happen sooner, rather than later, which he said is what happened in Tuscaloosa.
“Tuscaloosa made it very difficult for recovery with all the rules and regulations,” Pate said. “Government needs to recognize it’s going to be difficult on people. They don’t have insurance, people that don’t have resources, especially the elderly that is living off fixed incomes; it makes it very difficult for them to go do something else. In Tuscaloosa they came in with all this high minded rebuild, and at the end of the day they spent millions of dollars getting people to advise them, and when it was over this type of planning proved wrong for Tuscaloosa and it created a lot of delays, especially in the commercial sector.”