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VOL. 133 | NO. 92 | Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Council Sets Stage for Tax-Rate Votes in June

By Bill Dries

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Memphis City Council members take the first of three votes on two ordinances essential to setting the city government budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The ordinances to set the city property tax rate and then allocate how much of the rate goes to debt and other areas are on the Tuesday, May 8, agenda as the council budget committee continues its deliberations.

The council meets 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 set the stage for tax-rate votes next month when they meet Tuesday, May 8, and discuss Graceland’s expansion plans and a TIF for Highland Strip in committee sessions. (Daily News File/Bill Dries)

The council also takes the first of three votes on a referendum ordinance that would put to voters a proposal to have the council approve city contracts. The proposal by council member Martavius Jones would go on the November election ballot if approved on three readings by the council. If approved, it would be the fourth city charter change on the November ballot.

City contracts are now the purview of the city mayor under terms of the charter. The ballot question that emerges in full details before the third and final reading, now set for June, could change that to some degree. How much and the exact terms of the city charter on contracting power has been a recurring topic for at least the last 20 years.

Council members hear from leaders of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division on the utility’s emergency response plan at a 10 a.m. committee session. That is followed by a 10:30 a.m. committee session to discuss a tax increment financing – or TIF – district for the Highland Strip development by the University of Memphis and to discuss the Graceland expansion proposal.

An 11 a.m. parks committee session includes a review of a $59,718 grant from Hollywood Feed LLC to create a dog park at Sea Isle Park.

In planning and development items, the council votes Tuesday on a planned development on Madison Avenue west of Avalon Street of 230 apartment units in four buildings with surface parking. The development by 1544 Madison Partners and Prime Development Group includes council chairman Berlin Boyd as one of the partners. Boyd has recused himself from voting on the development.

The council also votes on an auto repair shop at 1054 Firestone Ave. on the northwest corner of Firestone and Breedlove Avenue. And the council votes on a five-lot development of single-family homes at 4717 Poplar Ave.

The council is also expected to set a May 22 date for a public hearing and vote on a construction debris landfill at 2353 Holmes Road east of Airways Boulevard by Blaylock and Brown Construction Co. on 41.96 acres. The Land Use Control Board has recommended rejection of the proposal.

Up for third and final reading is the ordinance that would create a Speedway Terrace historic district overlay north of Crosstown Concourse. The overlay would set conditions for development enforced by the Landmarks Commission. Meanwhile, the council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the first of three readings of a related ordinance by council member Kemp Conrad that would set more specific conditions on the control the Landmarks Commission has over such development. Conrad has indicated his proposal is a work in progress that is likely to change before third and final reading in June.

PROPERTY SALES 69 163 12,921
MORTGAGES 35 85 8,088
BUILDING PERMITS 109 531 30,465
BANKRUPTCIES 18 85 6,149