Selma oks $20,000 state grant application for civic center

At its Sept 12 meeting, the Selma Town Council authorized the town to apply for a $20,000 state revitalization and economic development grant for the new Selma Civic Center.

Following a unanimous recommendation from the town’s marketing committee, the mayor and council voted unanimously to authorize submitting the application to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The deadline for submitting the form, which describes the civic center project, expenses and expected outcomes, was Sept. 15.

Ann Williams, civic center committee chairman, said the committee now has a full set of signed, sealed and delivered documents for the building.

“What we have now is the set of plans required for approval by the county for a building permit,” said Williams. “We will ask for recommendations for small, local general contractors to build the restroom addition and try to get that completed with the funds we currently have.”

Williams said the committee would meet with contractors and bring back two to three bids for council’s approval.

“With any funds we have left, we want to get rid of the ugly porches on the front of the building,” said Williams. “We’ve gotten proofs on the new store fronts but aren’t ready to present that yet.”

Councilman William Overby told Williams she and the committee had done a great job and that he appreciated it.

“You’ve used your money very wisely,” said Councilman Mark Petersen. “When a professional engineer puts his seal on a project, he’s putting not only his reputation on the line but that of his heirs. That’s not a trivial thing to accomplish and we appreciate your hard work.”

Thus far, the committee has raised $134,312, not including the $20,000 state grant, should it be approved. It has spent $56,000 on the project. The total project is estimated to cost $300,000.

The building, located at 300 N. Webb St., was built in 1939 and deeded to the Selma American Legion Post 141.

During the building’s history, it’s been a high school gym, community center, and skating rink and rented for building storage.

In February 2016, the Town of Selma purchased the building for $60,000.

Selma approves $20,000 grant application for proposed Selma Civic Center.

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