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VOL. 128 | NO. 226 | Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Council Weighs Sanitation Pension Supplements

By Bill Dries

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Memphis City Council members take a final vote Tuesday, Nov. 19, on a retirement supplement for city sanitation workers that is one part of an overhaul of sanitation services the council delayed action on last month.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols.

The supplement would be up to $1,000 a month per worker and would be funded from savings the city estimates it would get from a new system of picking up solid waste. That system, agreed to by the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – the union that represents sanitation workers – would have more daily stops for garbage crews.

But the council delayed approval of the plan to fund the pension supplements until it hears from Wharton on his recommendations for funding the city’s unfunded pension liability. That plan is expected in December. While Wharton insists the supplement for sanitation workers in not a pension, several council members have argued it amounts to that and that the two issues are linked.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a council vote on a 2.5 percent increase in water rates proposed by Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division to take effect when utility meters are read in January.

The council also votes on the first of three readings of an ordinance that would drop the trash bin fee on Downtown and Medical Center businesses from $500 a month to $200. The fee applies to businesses in both areas that have trash bins in public rights of way or alleys.

The council also votes Tuesday on a connected funding resolution for $300,000 in capital funding to build six pads, or concrete slabs, for trash compactors in the area. The slabs would be used for trash compactors some of the businesses plan to buy as an alternative to trash bins.

The council also votes on a rezoning of 29 W. Fay St. bordering Florida Street in South Memphis where a vacant house would be used by Church of Divine Trinity as a neighborhood resource center.

Also on the agenda is a resolution that would transfer the old Highland Branch library, 460 S. Highland Ave., to the University of Memphis. The library has been declared surplus city property.

An $860,834 contract between MLGW and Ventyx for the Downtown Smart Grid project is back on the council’s agenda. Council member Janis Fullilove delayed it in committee Nov. 5. It goes before her committee for discussion in an 11 a.m. session.

A 1 p.m. committee session is slated to discuss a joint resolution with the Shelby County Commission to form a committee to study an expansion of the existing Memphis Cook Convention Center. Discussion of the committee and the expansion was postponed two weeks ago.

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