City Council Considers Fire Vehicle Funding

By Bill Dries

Memphis City Council members have at least one other burning controversy besides the schools debate to consider at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

On the agenda is a resolution approving a change in the way the Memphis Fire Department wants to spend capital improvements budget funding already scheduled in the current budget year.

The MFD wants to take $500,000 to buy eight “alternative response vehicles,” claiming the vehicles are more efficient.

The union representing Memphis firefighters questions whether the vehicles outfitted and manned to respond to medical emergencies as a first responder will lengthen response times when compared to a response in which a fire truck equipped to handle anything that may arise is dispatched.

Union leaders will make a counter proposal during a 9 a.m. committee session.

The full council is scheduled to vote on the resolution backed by fire department brass at the 3:30 p.m. session.

Also on the agenda is a vote on appropriating $1.5 million in bond money to buy land for a new Southwind fire station.

Zoning items on the Tuesday agenda include a special use permit for a recreation field at the Muslim Community Center at Bartlett Road and Pleasant View Road.

And Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration is seeking council approval to sell part of L.E. Brown Park, 617 S. Orleans St., in the Cleaborn Homes public housing project, to the Memphis Housing Authority. The park transaction is part of the demolition of the housing project and the land’s redevelopment as a mixed-use, mixed-income development under the federal government’s HOPE VI program.