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A Look at Upcoming Issues on the Memphis City Council Calendar

Big issues pushed behind budget talks coming back to the fore.



Passage of the city's budget dominated most of the Memphis City Council's time and attention in the past few weeks, which means decisions on other issues we've been following have been delayed. But those issues will find their way back on the council's agenda in the next few weeks. Here's what's coming up:

Overton-Square parking permits The final vote on whether or not to create the special parking zone and issue the permits was delayed until the council's next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 15th.

That one-year pilot plan would allow Square-area residents to buy an annual parking permit for $50. Residents could also buy up to four visitor permits for $25 each. The permits would allow them exclusive rights to park in spots on city streets that are currently open to the general public. Those spots would only be within a defined parking district.

If the program is approved by the council, petitions will be sent to residents in the parking permit district. Should enough residents on any one street sign the city's petition, their street could become part of the parking district. 

So far, that district is limited to an area bound by Cox on the east, Morrison on the west, Union on the south, and Jefferson on the north. A section of Lee Place North is also included. Neighbors within that area can determine whether or not they want their street in the program.  

City of Memphis Engineering Director John Cameron said if a street is approved for the program, signs would be erected there, residents and permitted visitors would get their permit (a sticker or a hang tag), and anyone who parks there without a permit would be ticketed. 

Sidewalk repairs

At the beginning of July, councilmembers extended by two months a moratorium on forcing Memphis residents to repair sidewalks in front of their properties. 

Repair notices began going out to numerous Memphis homeowners at the beginning of the year, and many of those people got a summons to appear in Judge Larry Potter's environmental court. Those notices were sent, according to city engineer John Cameron, after the city saw a spike in sidewalk-related lawsuits in 2013. 

But many of the homeowners complained, noting they did not have the financial means to pay for sidewalk repairs that could cost between $200 and $1,500. 

George Little, the city's chief administrative officer, said he was ready to propose a repair hardship program at the beginning of the month. But councilmembers delayed the presentation to focus on budget issues.

Cooper-Young parking garage Councilmember Janis Fullilove proposed adding $3.6 million to the city's budget for next year for what could be a $4 million project.

But she pulled her proposal during budget negotiations after Councilmember Kemp Conrad pushed a new rule that forced councilmembers to find money in the budget for any extra projects they propose.

The proposed garage would have two floors of parking for about 150 to 250 vehicles and be built on the corner of Meda and Young. The ground floor would be reserved for commercial space.

The proposal is slated to come before the council during their next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 15th.

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