VOL. 127 | NO. 28 | Friday, February 10, 2012
UPDATE: City Preps to Annex Bridgewater Area
By Bill Dries
UPDATE: State Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris of Collierville withdrew Thursday, Feb. 9, two bills dealing with annexation that prompted the Memphis City Council's consideration of the Grays Creek annexation. Norris withdrew the bills based on a legal opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General that concludes the bills are constitutionally suspect.
Memphis City Council members may go through with long-delayed annexation plans for the Bridgewater area now surrounded by city of Memphis territory.
The council has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St., of its annexation committee to be followed by a special meeting of the full council to vote on the first of three readings for the Bridgewater annexation ordinance.
The area is referred to by local planners and political leaders as “the doughnut hole” – a section of unincorporated area in the Memphis annexation reserve that is surrounded by land already in the city of Memphis.
The council delayed annexation of the area several years ago when former Mayor Willie Herenton’s administration made no recommendation on its annexation as the city assessed its ability to provide services to the area.
Some council members decided this week to move for the annexation of Bridgewater after approving a fast track annexation this week of the Grays Creek area on the first of three readings.
The Grays Creek annexation is a reaction to pending bills in the Tennessee Legislature that would have taken the same area out of the Memphis annexation reserve. The bills are on hold awaiting a legal opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office. But some council members have said they want to guard against other property in the city’s annexation reserve being affected by legislative proposals.
If the council approves the Bridgewater annexation at Tuesday’s special meeting on first reading, it and the Grays Creek annexation would both be scheduled for a second reading vote at the regularly scheduled council meeting on Feb. 21.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration would also present its plan of services for each area.