VOL. 132 | NO. 128 | Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Germantown Approves 21-Cent Property Tax Hike
The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a 21-cent property tax hike Monday, June 26, on third and final reading.
Passage of the tax hike seems to end discussions with Shelby County Schools about the Germantown Municipal School District buying Germantown Elementary, Middle and High schools from SCS.
Germantown aldermen approved a property tax rate of $1.97, a 21-cent increase above the certified property tax rate of $1.76 approved by the state.
Germantown’s property tax rate before the 2017 countywide reappraisal of property was $1.93. Because the value of property overall – residential and commercial – increased in that process, the tax rate went down to $1.76 to produce the same amount of revenue for Germantown city government, as required by state law.
A move by alderman Dean Massey to keep the tax rate at $1.76 was voted down. The 21-cent property tax hike proposed by alderman Mary Anne Gibson and approved on a 3-2 vote Monday was 2 cents below what Mayor Mike Palazzolo and his administration had recommended.
Revenue from the tax increase will go, in part, for the construction of a new K-5 school.
Germantown leaders offered $25 million to SCS in May for the three existing schools that remained part of SCS in the 2014 demerger of Shelby County public education into seven separate school systems.
SCS leaders sought information, but ultimately the discussions didn’t go anywhere even though no one involved ever said publicly that the discussions were over.
– Bill Dries
Tenn. Rural Communities Enjoy Rapid Airbnb Growth
An Airbnb report shows that home sharing is having a growing impact in rural Tennessee. The report states that Tennessee has 1,100 active hosts and that annual earnings for rural Tennessee hosts exceed $9.3 million.
Other findings: year-over-year growth in guest arrivals hit 194 percent; 28 percent of all Tennessee Airbnb listings are in rural areas; and the average age of rural Airbnb hosts is 45.
Airbnb used the U.S. Census designation of “rural” to compile data for the report.
– Don Wade
Commission Hires New Firm For County Building Security
Shelby County Commissioners approved a $1.9 million annual contract Monday, June 26, with Clarion Security starting July 1 to provide security services at county government buildings.
It is a switch from Allied. If renewed twice beyond the first year, it becomes a $6 million contract overall with Clarion.
The commission delayed approval of extending a security contract with Allied for a year so it could rebid the contract and apply new standards for minority and locally-owned business participation in county government contracts.
Allied bid, but Clarion was awarded the contract in a much-debated decision among commissioners over several months. Monday’s vote came with no debate among commissioners.
The commission also gave final approval Monday to an ordinance requiring that business owners in the county’s minority and women-owned business program provide proof of Shelby County residency to qualify to bid on county government contracts.
And the commission approved on third and final reading a change in the locally owned small business program for the same contracts, restoring points given to those businesses when they bid on projects.
The commission also approved $108,000 in reimbursement to the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy for a sewer system upgrade connected to the restrooms near the playground area of the park.
– Bill Dries
Five Local Attorneys Seek Open Judge Seat
Five Shelby County attorneys have applied to fill the vacancy in Shelby County Circuit Court created by the retirement of Judge Robert Childers effective this Friday, June 30.
The deadline to apply to the Trial Court Vacancy Commission was Monday, June 26, at noon.
The applicants are:
• Shannon D. Elsea of Cordova
• Brian S. Faughnan of Memphis
• Lewis W. Lyons of Memphis
• Tabitha F. McNabb of Germantown
• David M. Rudolph of Memphis
The vacancy commission will interview each of the applicants July 21 in a public process that starts with a public hearing at 9 a.m. at the Marriott Memphis East, 5795 Poplar Ave.
At the end of the session, the commission will narrow the group to three finalists, whose names will be submitted to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for appointment.
– Bill Dries
Authority Promotes Thomas To Strategic Marketing Director
Glen Thomas has been promoted to director of strategic marketing & communications by the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.
Thomas, who has more than 26 years of experience in marketing, public relations and media relations, has worked as the airport’s senior manager of strategic communications and community outreach since September 2013.
Prior to that, Thomas worked for Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division for 14 years as supervisor of communications and public relations.
“Glen joined the airport authority at a critical time for MSCAA and has proven his value time and time again,” said Scott Brockman, president and CEO of MSCAA. “Glen’s dedication and hard work has earned him this promotion and I look forward to his success in this new role as the re-invention of MEM starts to take shape.”
– Patrick Lantrip
Memphis Among Hardest Cities to Add New Apartments
When it comes to adding new apartment projects, Memphis ranked as the No. 5 most difficult metro out of 50 metros surveyed, according to data compiled by Hoyt Advisory Services at the behest of the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association.
Honolulu, Boston, Baltimore and Miami rounded out the Top 5.
Titled the Barriers to Apartment Construction Index, the ranking scored 50 metro areas in an index that ranged from Honolulu’s 19.5 as the most difficult market to add apartments to New Orleans’ 5.9, which was the easiest.
In total, the study found that the U.S. would need to build a minimum of 4.6 million new apartments by 2030 to meet the expected increase in demand.
To meet this demand, the study found that developers would have to construct, on average, more than 325,000 new apartment homes each year. For reference, the apartment industry averaged only 244,000 new apartment homes from 2012 through 2016, and the last time more than 325,000 new apartments were built in a single year was in 1989.
“While the number of new apartments built each year has been rising, it hasn’t been enough to meet current demand and make up for any possible shortfall at certain price points in the years following the recession,” National Apartment Association chair Cindy Clare said. “This imbalance between high demand and limited supply options has driven down affordability and reduced housing options for renters.”
– Patrick Lantrip
Fred’s, Nielsen Expand Data Analytics Relationship
Memphis-based Fred’s Pharmacy and Nielsen announced Monday, June 26, they have expanded their long-term relationship with the renewal of data insights and analytics services.
Nielsen will become the exclusive account-level data provider for Fred’s Pharmacy, covering metrics for all 601 fred’s stores in 15 states across the southeastern U.S., as well as future stores within the health and wellness marketplace.
Nielsen has been an analytical partner to Fred’s Pharmacy for more than 15 years. As it continues to evolve its business into the drugstore space, the new agreement includes expanded market measurement and consumer targeting services and provides a dedicated Nielsen support team.
“By selecting Nielsen as our exclusive partner in managing our shared data and analytical needs, Fred’s will improve its consistency in data output and meet our increasing consumer and volumetric data needs, among other benefits,” said Mary Lou Gardner, Fred’s executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer.
– Daily News staff