Council expected to take final vote on South Cordova de-annexation

By Updated: February 19, 2019 4:00 AM CT | Published: February 18, 2019 2:28 PM CT

Memphis City Council members are expected to take a final vote Tuesday on the de-annexation of South Cordova, the last in a series of five de-annexations by the city.

The council vote on South Cordova is likely to come with more debate than the council’s earlier approval of the de-annexations of the part of Eads in Memphis, unoccupied land in southwest Memphis that is in a flood plain, Windyke-Southwind and the Rocky Point Road area.

The council committee considering the South Cordova de-annexation has recommended the council reject the move proposed by the administration of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

BILL DRIES: Council approves de-annexations of Rocky Point, Southwind/Windyke

South Cordova, which became part of the city in 2012, was the most recent annexation by the city. If the de-annexation is approved by the council, it would leave the city Jan. 1, 2021.

That is when property owners in the area would get a supplemental tax bill instead of a city property tax bill to pay for their share of the city’s tax-funded debt on infrastructure and pension liability.

City chief operating officer Doug McGowen has said the formula works out for South Cordovans to a supplemental tax bill of $2,700 on a $150,000 house. The supplemental tax bills would be paid for approximately 2 1/2 years, with the amount fully paid in 2024.

Residents of the area who opposed the annexation after years of litigation were instrumental in the Tennessee Legislature’s passage of laws requiring all future annexations in the state to be approved in a referendum of those who live in the area to be annexed.

That was followed by legislation that would have allowed for de-annexation by referendum that in the original terms of the proposal went back as far as the late 1990s.

Strickland estimated the law would have made 18 different areas of the city eligible for de-annexation, containing roughly 18 percent of the city’s population and accounting for $27 million to $80 million in tax revenue.

A general draft proposal of a de-annexation law is still pending in Nashville. The city hopes that with the voluntary de-annexations approved by the council that state legislators will at the least exempt Memphis from the terms of any de-annexation law that might be approved.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @bdriesdm for live coverage and updates from council committee sessions earlier in the day.

Council members also will review marijuana legislation pending in the Legislature during a 2 p.m. committee session, and they will tour Tom Lee Park earlier in the day to review plans by the Memphis River Parks Partnership for the redevelopment of the riverside park.

The council is expected to vote as well on the second of three readings of the ordinance that puts in place a fiscal agent to handle the city and county funding for an expansion of pre-kindergarten in Shelby County, including the City of Memphis. The county commission takes a final vote on the same ordinance next week.

Also on the council agenda again Tuesday, after being delayed several times since December, is an appeal by Saia Motor Freight LLC of the Land Use Control Board’s rejection of its plans for a 200-door cross dock on the northside of Raines Road, west of Tchulahoma Road. The terminal has drawn opposition from homeowners in the nearby Christine Road subdivision as well as Habitat for Humanity.

The council also votes on $15.2 million in funding to relocate a 48-inch sewer line off the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital campus. The funding will be advanced from the city’s sewer fund to be repaid later with state funding.

Additionally, the council votes on $75,000 in funding for the Explore Bike Share program. The revenue comes from the $1 a day per scooter fee that the two scooter companies in Memphis pay city government.

Explore Bike Share is a not-for-profit with a network of 600 bikes at more than 50 docks at various locations in the city. The organization has plans to expand to 900 bikes at more than 100 stations this year.


Memphis City Council De-Annexation South Cordova
Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.

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