City Council earmarks $10 million for Mud Island River Park
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – After being stuck on the tracks for years, plans are underway to get the Mud Island monorail back up and running.
This week, the Memphis City Council, led by Budget Committee Chairman Martavious Jones, earmarked $10 million in capital funding for the renovation of Mud Island River Park and its monorail.
“That’s why do it little by little. A few million here, a few million there over the next few years can bring it back to life,” Jones said.
The WREG contacted the Memphis River Parks Partnership regarding the council’s budget allocation.
In a statement, the MRPP said: “The Partnership is pleased to see that the Board is prioritizing investment in Mud Island. The park opened 40 years ago and has a long list of deferred capital expenditures. We look forward to working with the city to develop a set of options for the future of Mud Island that can guide how to get the most out of this new investment for Memphis.
It also indicates that construction work is already underway. A $4 million Accelerate Memphis grant is being used to offset $20 million in deferred maintenance for the escalators, Memphis Map, River Terrace and Amphitheater.
“If they look at the MRRP and how they went to redo Tom Lee Park, if they look and see that the city is looking to make some kind of investment, it will be easier for them to raise outside funds to help cover a part of the costs to help get him back to where he was,” Jones said.
That’s because some say it’s become a place where some homeless Memphians seek refuge.
“I was walking down Main Street and saw some of our homeless neighbors sleeping under where the escalators went up to the monorail,” said Jerred Price, president emeritus of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. “So it is indeed the truth.”
Price applauds the board’s actions but wants to see more.
“Do we continue to invest in a 40-year-old monorail, or do we make the investment and find more funding in a new, state-of-the-art monorail that won’t have to continue to invest in the ‘maintenance ?” The price said.
Jones says the Memphis River Parks Partnership will also conduct a study to see what it will take to get the park back to where it needs to be.
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