Selma City Council declares Memorial Stadium an emergency

Published 7:13 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

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By James Jones and Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

The Selma City Council unanimously approved  a Resolution to declare an Emergency at Memorial Stadium and Bloch Park during a Special Called Meeting on Tuesday.

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City Council President Billy Young, councilmen Clay Carmichael, Atkin Jemison, Troy Harvill, councilwomen Lesia James, Jannie Thomas and Christie Thomas were present at the meeting.

Resolution 192-22/23 was motioned by Jannie Thomas and seconded from James.

“We have football season approaching so we are forgoing formalities,” Young said. “This is not a guarantee Memorial Stadium will be fixed in time, but we’re doing everything we can. Getting it fixed will take time.” Young continued by saying that the City Council supports the children of Selma and their right to play home games at Memorial Stadium.

“The Selma City Council supports all of the children of Selma. Therefore, we moved expeditiously to begin the legal process of repairing Memorial Stadium,” Young said. “The Emergency Resolution will help us with our long term goal of creating a safe, stable, and viable athletic facility that our entire Community can be proud to call Selma’s Memorial Stadium. We cannot guarantee the Stadium will be ready by the beginning of Football, but we are doing our best to get the job done.” The stadium was damaged from the January 12 tornado and due to the slow process of cleanup Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Zickeyous Byrd requested to enter into negotiations with the city on behalf of the district  to reach an agreement to allow the school district to have control of the stadium. After finding out that their negotiations failed Byrd said that the district will continue to work hard to make sure the students are put first.

“As of now, the school district has limited information regarding the recent actions from the council or committee regarding the plans for Bloch Park or Memorial Stadium,” Byrd said. “Those plans have not been shared with us. However, as I’ve said from the very beginning, our focus has always been ensuring that the improvements are made so that our scholars and our community can enjoy the opportunities and pleasures of athletics at home. If the city is committed to making those repairs, we are happy with that. Again, we simply want to ensure our scholars have the appropriate facilities for a great year.”