Shelby Co. closer to selling share of Pyramid - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. closer to selling share of Pyramid

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The years-long debate over who controls the Pyramid took a step closer to closure Wednesday.

The city-county power struggle over the fate of the building is years old, as tax payers spend millions to maintain the empty building.

But Wednesday, the political wheel turned.  The Shelby County Budget Committee voted in favor of selling the Pyramid Arena to the City of Memphis for $3.5 million.

In exchange, the city would pay the county an additional $5 million to keep the Health Department afloat and forgive a $380,000 bill the county owes the city.

Some Commissioners argued the Pyramid issue should stand alone, and not get jumbled with other deals, calling the sale a big loss for county taxpayers.

Other commissioners said the county needs to take this opportunity to unload a financial strain.

"We've went through all these stalling methods and resolutions for the last six, seven, eight months," Commissioners Sydney Chism.  "It's time for us to do what we've got to do and get off the dime and keep messing around with this thing."

"Not only was the note that was passed to us extremely arrogant and demeaning to this body, it's a ridiculous offer," Commissioner Wyatt Bunker said. "It's a ridiculous offer to offer the Pyramid for $3.5M.  It's a ridiculous."

The resolution to sell the Pyramid passed five to three.  A special meeting has been called for next Wednesday for the full commission to vote on this measure.

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