VOL. 130 | NO. 243 | Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Current City Council Marks End of Term
By Bill Dries
Memphis City Council members mark the end of an eight-year era Tuesday, Dec. 15, when the body holds its last meeting of 2015.
Memphis City Council members end an era with Tuesday’s council session, the last of the year and the last for six members who are leaving at the end of their four-year terms.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
It is also the last session of the current council’s four-year term of office. With the end of the term, six of the 13 members will be leaving office.
That include Memphis Mayor-elect Jim Strickland, who takes his new post Jan. 1.
Eight of the council members have served on the body for two terms, or eight years. They were elected in 2007 in the largest turnover of seats in the 48-year history of the mayor-council form of government. Four of the eight are leaving the council at the end of December because they did not seek re-election on the October Memphis ballot.
Six new council members take office in January. They spent most of two days last week at City Hall orientation sessions that included meetings with division directors as well as council attorney Allan Wade.
Most if not all of the incoming members will be present for Tuesday’s committee sessions and full council meeting – the last time for four years that they will be bystanders.
The meeting is at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting at @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, including updates earlier in the day from the committee sessions.
At the end of Tuesday’s session, the six departing council members, including chairman Myron Lowery – the longest-serving member, having been elected in 1991 – are expected to offer some comments on their tenures.
At an 11:30 a.m. committee session, council members get a look at detailed plans for Midtown Market, the mixed-use development by Belz Investco GP and Harbour Retail Partners at the southwest corner of Union Avenue and McLean Boulevard. It includes a supermarket as an anchor of the retail portion.
The developers want the city to apply for $4 million in federal Section 108 funds for demolition and public infrastructure connected to the development.
The council is not scheduled to vote on the request Tuesday.
The terms, as outlined in the proposed resolution, are that $2 million of the funding would be in the form of a grant forgiven at 5 percent a year over 20 years. The other half would be a loan with no interest for the first seven years and 4 percent interest for the remaining 13 years of the 20-year agreement paying $961,063 in interest beyond the $2 million principal.
The city would pledge current and future Community Development Block Grant funding as security for the loan.
The council votes Tuesday on $4.8 million in city funding to add backs to 4,000 seats at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The University of Memphis pledged at a meeting earlier this month to reimburse the city for the expense.
In other planning and development items, the council votes Tuesday on the Graceland West development, the redevelopment and expansion of Graceland’s plaza area on the west side of Elvis Presley Boulevard, across the street from the mansion.
The council also votes on a tractor-trailer yard on the southeast corner of Brooks Road and McCorkle Road. And the body considers closing an undeveloped alley in North Memphis, south of Cedar Avenue on the west side of Seventh Street as part of the Bearwater Park subdivision being built by Oasis of Hope Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis.