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New city trucks help in blight fight

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- On busy Getwell Road Wednesday morning, there was a sign of what's to come.

"This is a form of blight and we are going to do something about it," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

The city blocked traffic to show off a brand new city truck to repair potholes.

With the $125,000 truck, crews will no longer just fill in the potholes and hope they will last.

Wharton said now they can cut out the section of road and re-patch the entire piece.

"That is going to stop us having to go back and do the same job over and over again," Wharton said.

"With the potholes, we have been having a lot of cars damaged. So it's a good thing for them to fix these potholes," Marvin Scott of Memphis said.

The city is  cleaning up one blighted problem at a time.

Does that sound familiar?

That was the plan with the 25 Square Program, cleaning up blight 25 square blocks at a time.

"25 square is still around. It includes more than boarded up buildings. We also go in to check the conditions of the streets," said Wharton.

The mayor says minority contractors will be hired to help.

Remember the former director over blight, Onzie Horne?

He resigned over allegations he directed thousands of dollars to certain contractors.

So mayor, how has that been fixed?

"Great question," said Wharton. "If you are aware, the person who took the position previously held by Mr. Horne has a finance background. She is the city comptroller."

He says now they have a person with checks and balances going by the book.

Blight clean up with be done according to complaints filed and severity of conditions.

The pothole truck is just the start.

The city also plans to buy two additional pothole trucks and hire 16 seasonal workers,  all at a cost of half a million dollars.


  • smith

    Wharton, is pitiful, hireling 16 more people when the city has more people on the payroll than they know what to do with. The city is on it way to being Detroit.

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