A move to replace the current Shelby County Land Bank this week passed 6-4 in its second reading, with four members abstaining. For passage, a majority of seven commissioners would have to approve the measure on its third and final reading.

by James Coleman —

After years of safety issues and lobbying for improvements, commuters and pedestrians can look forward to a safer passage along East Holmes Road after the Shelby County Commission on Monday (Jan. 24) approved adding sidewalks to the southeast Memphis street.

Commissioners gave the nod to $75,000 to fund easements along East Holmes Road at Easterly Lane. The sidewalks will connect with a sidewalk that currently ends at The Grove of Stonebriar subdivision. 

The stretch of road is also close to Highland Oaks Elementary and Middle Schools.

The sidewalks continue the trend of long-awaited improvements to the area. The commission approved $937,000 for the widening of Holmes between Hacks Cross Road and Riverdale Road on January 10. Most of the money, $750,000, came from federal funding. The rest, $187,000, was matched by the state and locally. 

Commissioners Van Turner Jr. and David Bradford sponsored the resolution.

Commissioners also approved accepting $20 million to partially settle a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, among others, over the widespread distribution and resultant abuse of opioids.

With the settlement, the Shelby County Government joins a larger lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors by the state known as the “Tennessee Plan.”

The resolution also empowers the county’s mayor to enforce any plan or settlement arising from the state’s lawsuit.

It was sponsored by Chairman Willie Brooks Jr.