MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After months of debate, the decision was finally made.
Mayor Jim Strickland announced Friday that Memphis in May – the popular month-long series – will be moved out of Tom Lee Park as construction takes place in 2021.
According to a release from MIM, the events will be held in the park next year. However, they will be held in an “alternate location” in 2021.
Officials also said Riverside Drive will remain four lanes, after backlash from the plans to shorten it to two lanes for renovations to Tom Lee Park.
Memphis in May will be back at Tom Lee park for the years past 2021. Strickland said in a statement that the city's goal is to have the construction done at the park in time for 2022.
"My vision is to craft a better Riverfront for all Memphians. That includes an improved Tom Lee Park and a better-than-ever Memphis in May.
My commitment has been clear: a Tom Lee Park that will enable the Memphis in May International Festival to continue to thrive for decades to come and will better serve Memphians the other 11 months out of the year."
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Strickland said mediation continues in terms of the park's layout to best accomodate Memphis in May. Also, he said the renovations will help improve the infrastructure for the events.
Finally, Strickland said that no city money from the general fund or capital improvement budget will be used.
"The City is routing $10 million in sales taxes in the Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) that would otherwise have gone to the State of Tennessee. The remaining money for the park would come from Shelby County, the State of Tennessee, and private sources."
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