Memphis City Council Deciding What To Do With $1.3 Mil Refund

(Memphis) Here’s something you don’t hear too often: the Memphis City Council is trying to figure out what to do with an extra $1.3 million after the chamber turned the money down.

Lots of ideas, but no definitive answer after the city learned it’s getting a refund from the chamber at Tuesday’s budget hearings.

From Nashville, Mayor A C Wharton suggested putting some towards economic development, and a million towards youth services.

In a statement, Wharton said, “I contend that the highest and best use of the $1.35 million is to invest in our youth and in economic development. I hope the Council will give serious consideration to our proposal to provide additional funds for EDGE and Youth Services to be used to expand the highly effective Youth Ambassadors program.”

Councilman Wanda Halbert said it will combat youth violence. Just last week, two kids were shot, and one died.

“My opinion is the city needs to make an investment to keep them busy and keep them occupied,” she said.

Not everyone agrees the time is now. Councilman Jim Strickland proposed putting the extra money towards the city’s estimated $700 million unfunded pension problem, but was shut down.

The city is also scrambling to find $6.5 million to test more than 12,000 rape kits that sat on MPD’s shelves for decades.

“We sought state funding, and we are going after other grants at the federal level. We are hopeful to get other funding in the budget process besides necessarily that million dollars,” said Chief Administrative Officer George Little.

Little said numbers are being worked out, and both rape kits and our youth are top priorities.

He said the city can always pull additional funding from MPD’s reserve fund for rape kits if worse comes to worse.

“You shouldn’t spend a million dollars on a moment’s notice,” said Councilman Lee Harris. He said the council will discuss all options. “I can think of a thousand ideas. Rape kits is a good idea. Rapes, burglaries, I can think of a thousand ideas that are good ideas.”

All details have to be worked out by June 30, the budget deadline.

10 comments

  • B-12

    Could of figured we would hear something about the PENSION PACKAGES, save your money like the rest of us have to and take the PENSION Packages away completely. What do you all do that we do not do out here in the WORKING world that the tax payers should have to be sure you get pensions. Pay the school system what they owed first. That is starting with the YOUTH right there. Than put some things in this town for families to do together water parks, amusement park. Bring back things for people to do. This town is NOTHING but business, nothing for kids to do at all period.

  • Memphis Pride

    I agree with you. Eventhough I love Memphis, it’s just not family friendly. Unless the money have to be spent right away, why not put it away in a reserve account as if we never gotten it.

  • Margaret Bruch

    I agree with Jim Strickland. Fund the pensions!!! Why should the city not be bound to their debt. I guess practical is not exciting enough. Memphis should have to make good in their commitments to their employees.

  • Jerry Tyler

    Return the police and fire depts salaries and benefits they keep taking away from them! As the city remains in the top 5 most crime ridden cities in America.

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