County considers donating properties to city - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

County considers donating properties to city

They refused to sell the county's share of the Pyramid, Liberty Bowl and the Mid-South Coliseum to the city. Now, the Shelby County Commission is considering giving away its portion of the stadium and the coliseum to the City of Memphis.
    
The Mid-South Coliseum was once a crowded venue for concerts and athletic events, but the cars and crowds are long gone. 
 
"It's a drain on us. It costs us to keep it up," said Shelby County Commissioner Sydney Chism.
 
Chism insists that the county needs to step away from its 40 percent share of the coliseum and ownership of the land underneath the Liberty Bowl.

He's says he's supporting a resolution that would donate both to the City of Memphis. "Whatever amounts of money we're spending, we shouldn't be spending. We don't have controlling interest to do anything with it other than pay."

But the idea of giving the property away isn't sitting well with some other commissioners.
 
"At a time when the city is cutting back its funding of the health department and leaving the county with the bill, do we really want to be giving property away for free?" said 
commissioner Steve Lulroy.

Mulroy says that, with the City of Memphis pulling some $15 million dollars of funding to the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, selling the property may be a better option."I don't know if these pieces of property have all that much value, but they probably have some value greater than zero, and I'd like to explore that before we give it all away."

The debate over the property is expected to heat up in two weeks when the Shelby County Commission will discuss the issue further.
    
City Council Chairman Myron Lowery said donating the property to the city would be great. To sell it would only hurt Memphis taxpayers, who've already paid for both venues.


Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.
 

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