Neighborhood demands Memphis leaders 'do their job'

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Residents of one Memphis neighborhood are tired of waiting for their streets to be paved.

City of Memphis leaders assure people living in the area that Cooper Avenue in Midtown will be paved in 2018.

The city still has several months to meet that deadline, but if it doesn't happen, Cooper will move to the front of the line for 2019.

It's a waiting game one neighborhood said it is tired of playing.

"We keep asking, keep hoping they'll do their job," Balmoral Neighborhood Association President Eddie Settles said.

Settles said he's frustrated because some streets in the neighborhood are full of uneven pavement and potholes. He said the roads are so bad they're actually a safety hazard, seeing as some residents have injured themselves walking down the street.

"We had our treasurer fracture her occipital bone falling over in the street when she was walking," Settle said.

Cooper and some other streets in the Balmoral neighborhood were on the city's paving calendar for 2017...but they still haven't been paved.

Public Works Director Robert Knecht said the Balmoral streets are in line to be paved.

The city uses contracted crews for main thoroughfares and its own workers for side streets like those in the Balmoral neighborhood.

Summer storms can also slow the progress.

"What we do contractually is the larger stuff and gets done simpler. What we do in house is smaller residential community streets. Those take more time because of the challenges of working in a community street," Knecht said.

The new budget passed by the Memphis city council allocates $19 million in street resurfacing.

The mayor's office said that's double the city's effort from four years ago.

"There's going to be more contracting paving this year and that supplements what we do in house," Knecht said.

However, Settles said he'll only believe it when he sees fresh asphalt on his neighborhood's streets.

"We'd like the city do come do what it's been saying it's going to do," Settles said.

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