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VOL. 132 | NO. 108 | Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Your Neighbor Has Power, City Budget Wrap Take One and BBQ

By Bill Dries

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We are at the point in our storm recovery where the novelty and sense of adventure have reached the end of their very short lives in areas where the power is still out. And the restoration of that service is at a point where you now have people on one side of a street with power and those on the other side may still be in the dark and the heat.

Some really interesting aerials of the area in Frayser that include the fire and police academies from Erik Proseus and the MemphisWeather.net blog. Quite an area of trees flattened where North Watkins meets Highway 51 on the way to Shelby Forest, which is still digging out from all of this.

As the short work week began Tuesday, some thinking about how to pay for all of this up front began surfacing at City Hall. Any kind of disaster declaration is not an immediate infusion of federal money to get things done. Local governments in these situations always have to have their own money upfront to spend and if their hopes are realized and federal funding is secured, it will be months in coming after a lot of paperwork and it will be a reimbursement of the local money spent.

In the case of the city of Memphis, that will be money from the city reserves that Mayor Jim Strickland moved Tuesday to use for debris removal. And in a storm like this in a city of trees, debris removal is no small matter. Some of you will remember the large pile of debris on East Parkway at Sam Cooper following the Ice Storm of 1994.

There were some other dollar figures being discussed at City Hall Tuesday by the city council’s budget committee which was having what quickly became the first of two wrap-up sessions when council member Martavius Jones proposed cutting another $7.3 million from the Memphis Police Department budget. This wasn’t a surprise. It is the other shoe of the council’s decision to cut police overtime by $2.7 million to pay for an across the board 1 percent pay raise for city employees. The larger issue for some on the council is the police department’s funding of unfilled positions that will remain unfilled in the new fiscal year.

Methodist University files a $2.5 milion building permit for the latest part of its $280 million modernization.

A doctor who is the co-owner of a year-old medical practice in Collierville had to lose 80 pounds in a health scare several years ago that prompted the new weight-loss clinic.

Meanwhile, lots of action in the competitive barbecue restaurant scene locally and an overview of who is doing what to ribs and such around town.

Just before the Memorial Day break, a group of students from a small college in Indiana became the latest in a long line of pilgrims coming to Memphis. When you hear a visitor referred to as a pilgrim you might think of Graceland. In this case, the Hanover College students were part of an older pilgrimage to the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fell. The Hanover students came here to contemplate not only what that continues to mean in the 21st century, but also to contemplate King’s extensive groundings in theology.

Much of the industrial and distribution development in North Mississippi has been around gigantic centers like Gateway, which straddles the state line. But there is a new spec market development there that is smaller. And smaller is something Memphis could handle with its smaller lots but the vacancy rate here for small to mid-size users is very thin right about now.

The first day back from the long weekend was to be when state Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville announced whether he would return to the race for Tennessee Governor following his withdrawal as President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Army Secretary. No such luck.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the bill by Memphis Democrat Raumesh Akbari in the House that cuts the expungement fee for low-level offenders to have their criminal records wiped clean.

More on Paul Dejong’s debut in the Major League Baseball over the weekend with a home run against the Rockies.

And a look at the Memphis-themed gameboard that made the current cover of our weekly The Memphis News.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0