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VOL. 133 | NO. 27 | Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Council Takes Up MLGW Rate Hikes Again, Votes On Third Ballot Question

By Bill Dries

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With the 1 percent hike in the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division water rates taking effect this month, the Memphis City Council again takes up proposed hikes in the gas and electric rates on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The council brought the rate hikes back to life two weeks ago after voting down both hikes – 9 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, over several years – at the Jan. 9 council session.

Options include more modest rate hikes for gas and electric for one-year only. Incoming MLGW president and CEO J.T. Young would then make long-term recommendations later in the year on rates.

The council meeting where the items will be voted on starts at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.

Memphis City Council members will try again Tuesday, Feb. 6, to make a decision on proposed water and gas rate hikes and take a final vote on a third ballot question for city voters. (Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The council also takes third and final reading votes Tuesday on what would be the third referendum item on the November ballot . The proposed ballot question would change the city charter to eliminate the run-off provision that currently applies to the seven single-member district council seats.

If approved Tuesday, the ballot question, proposed by council member Jamita Swearengen, would join a repeal of ranked-choice voting for the same council races and an extension of the current two-term limit on the mayor and council members to a three-term limit effective immediately.

The council also takes a third reading vote on changes to the city ordinance setting the ground rules for parades, marches and marathons. The proposal by council member Reid Hedgepeth is aimed at more advance notice of marathons that close residential streets and provide for an appeal process overseen by the council.

And there is a final vote Tuesday on an ordinance by council member Kemp Conrad that would add regulations to ticketing cars in commercial parking lots.

No documents for any of the 19 items on Tuesday’s council agenda were posted on the city’s website as of midday Monday, Feb. 5.

The council also discusses the appointment of three citizens to the newly revamped Public Arts Oversight Committee at the 2 p.m. council executive session. The commission was revamped as part of a review of the UrbanArt Commission by the council and an overhaul of the process for selecting artists and reviewing their works that are funded by the city.

In planning and development items, the council votes Tuesday on the first reading of a rezoning of property on the west side of White Station Road north of Poplar Avenue that would delete a part of the White Station Road residential corridor by four parcels.

The council also takes a first reading vote on a historic overlay district for the Cooper-Young area.

The council will also set a Feb. 20 public hearing and vote on the City Cottages planned development by Cowles Building Co. LLC and Apple Partners on the northeast corner of Tanglewood Street and Elzey Avenue in Cooper-Young. The half-acre of vacant land that includes a former railroad right of way would be used to develop 10 “cottage style” residential lots.

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173