Tuesday, June 5, 2007

City Council Approves Beale Street Landing

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2007 at 4:00 AM

On a 7-3 vote, the Memphis City Council on Tuesday kept the $29.4 million Beale Street Landing riverboat dock and gathering place in the capital improvements budget.

The approval came over the objections of speakers from Memphis Heritage, the Sierra Club, Friends For Our Riverfront and Councilman E. C. Jones, who blasted "the boat dock" as wasteful. Jones said he had not heard from a single constituent who considered the project a high priority for Memphis in light of rising crime rates, failing schools, and city-wide maintenance needs.

Carol Chumney and Jack Sammons also voted against the project, which was taken out of the overall budget for a separate vote on a motion by Chumney.

Benny Lendermon, head of the Riverfront Development Corporation, said the project, whose design was chosen in an international competition, could take two to three years to complete. It will be built with about $19 million in city funds and the rest from state and federal funds. The location is the north end of Tom Lee Park.

Several dozen opponents of the project came to council meeting and cheered loudly after Jones and Chumney spoke.

Voting for the project were Edmund Ford, Joe Brown, Scott McCormick, Tom Marshall, Barbara Swearengen Holt-Ware, Myron Lowery, and Dedrick Brittenum.

To learn more about the Beale Street Landing project, check out the RDC website.

— John Branston

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