City council debates several hot button issues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City council debates several hot button issues

(WMC-TV) - A number of stories are developing in the Memphis City Council that will affect both Memphians and those who work in and visit the Bluff City.

The council is considering a half-percent sales tax hike. The majority of the money would be used to fund pre-k for 4,500 Memphis students.

Citizens who do not live in Memphis see it as a money-grab, while others see it as a crucial investment in public education.

The city council is also considering restoring some funding to the MATA bus transit system. The council originally cut $2 million from MATA last month.

Bus riders say without the cuts the routes are already late and bus equipment breaks down.

The $470,000 they may transfer to MATA would be taken out of the Memphis and Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) program.  But EDGE says that money is critical to its operation.

Also Tuesday, a renewed battle over the proposed closure of Fire Station 6 brought a dozen citizens to city hall.

In a fiery exchange, North Memphis citizens asked the city to keep the station in tact.

The city is considering a compromise to keep a ladder truck and move the water pump truck to a station that needs it more.

The city says cuts to Fire Station 6 would cause the least impact to the city as a whole.

Another battle underway at Memphis City Hall is over installing MLGW smart meters in thousands of homes.

MLGW says utility customers will get savings with automated meter readers, but citizens fear the smart meters are a fire hazard and will end up costing them more.

The city contends some who oppose the meters are trying to save city jobs and are opposed to automating meter reading.

Action News 5's Kontji Anthony is following all of this action and will bring you the fireworks Tuesday on Action News 5 at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.

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