Friday, April 29, 2005

Letter: The RDC Responds

Memphis Flyer
Letters to the Editor
Link to original

The Riverfront Development Corporation was established as a result of several communitywide public forums, which affirmed that revitalization of the Memphis riverfront was an important priority for moving this city forward ("River of Dreams," April 21st issue).

Having served first as a steering-committee member studying how best to begin riverfront improvements and now as the RDC's founding chairman, I can assure you that our first task for the city of Memphis was to provide a higher level of service to the green spaces along the riverfront, attract more citizens to the area, and provide appropriate amenities.

We have achieved and maintain a high standard of excellence in caring for the parks. We have added canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals to Mud Island River Park and started a walking club and overnight camping. Plus, we eliminated the admission fee to Mud Island.

The RDC is in fact doing more with less. The RDC is managing the riverfront at the same cost to the city as in 1999. At that time, riverfront costs had been escalating at a rate of 14 percent a year over the previous four years. Using that rate, the RDC has saved the city $3.9 million.

I do not believe that the citizens of this community want their riverfront to fall into disrepair. I believe this community wants a vibrant riverfront and that the vast majority of people support the RDC. We are working to maintain excellence in all that we do, and I believe the people enjoying the riverfront today expect just that.

John W. Stokes Jr., Chairman
Riverfront Development Corporation

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