VOL. 124 | NO. 23 | Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Council Amends Rental Energy Efficiency Standards
By Bill Dries
The Memphis City Council has given final approval to an ordinance that sets minimum energy efficiency standards for rental property.
The ordinance, approved Tuesday on third reading with a unanimous council vote, came with some amendments. They were worked out in talks between Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division officials and representatives of apartment complex owners as well as owners of smaller and single-family rental properties.
The final version allows MLGW employees to inspect rental property and write citations to the owners. The inspections can be conducted for excessive utility consumption, but the owner of record must be notified five calendar days in advance by mail.
Excessive utility consumption is defined in the ordinance as a unit in the top 10 percent for utility consumption for similar units in size and construction. The fee the utility would charge the owners of the property for inspection could not be more than $25 per unit, and once a unit is inspected, the fee can’t be charged for another inspection in the same calendar year.
MLGW President Jerry Collins suggested the ordinance.
In other action the council:
- Changed the living wage reporting requirements for small businesses that are awarded city contracts. Locally owned businesses employing 10 full-time employees or fewer are not required to submit payroll reports to the city. But they must make the records available for public inspection.
- Approved $216,605 to begin architecture and engineering work on seating for the disabled at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The planning is for 219 wheelchair locations in the stadium as well as 219 companion seats.
It is just over a third of the required 600 seats for the disabled required by the U.S. Department of Justice to make the stadium comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Council member Jim Strickland said the Justice Department wanted construction of the seats moved up. Justice Department officials complained that the work was taking too long. The city is under a consent decree to comply with Justice Department requirement for the stadium to remain open.