Memphis City Council to discuss how tax dollars are spent - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis City Council to discuss how tax dollars are spent

(WMC-TV) - This week's Memphis City Council meeting will prove to be a juggling act when it comes to how your tax dollars are spent. Council Chairman Jim Strickland gave Action News 5 a preview of the upcoming meeting.

On Tuesday, the council will discuss paying higher wages to more contractors who do work with the city.

"Right now, the city only pays the prevailing or higher wage to contracts over $250,000. The proposal is to bring it down to $50,000," said Strickland.

During the discussion, the council will learn how much more this will cost taxpayers. The council will also consider a plan to lower the amount of money spent on employee health care coverage by joining forces with Shelby County and the schools.

"If we all came together and bought our health care under one umbrella, would we get significant savings in health care? That's what Edmund Ford is looking at," noted Strickland.

Also on the agenda, with several schools slated for closure, city leaders are worried about what will happen to the neighborhoods where the schools close.

"It's just the very beginning of a talk that could help these neighborhoods that are struggling," added Strickland.

The council will consider the potential reuse of the soon-to-be vacant buildings. Another hot topic: the council will talk about shortening the street repaving cycle from once every 70 years to once every 20 years. Strickland says the current 70 year cycle means your street would be repaved only once in your lifetime.

"We need to focus on the basics of government, which are crime, public safety, streets and provide those in a first-class manner before we do some extras," said Strickland.

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