RDC employee compensations total $2.6 million - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

RDC employee compensations total $2.6 million

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is responding to criticism of Riverfront Development Corporation employee salaries. Employees make $2.6 million combined, and still want more funding.

"It will be thoroughly examined. Where it will end up ... I simply do not know," said Wharton.

Mayor A C Wharton promised a review of the city's 14-year contract with the Riverfront Development Corporation to manage the Mississippi riverfront.

"It represents a real dilemma. There's so much potential on the river. We are a river city," said Wharton.

Councilman Harold Collins highlighted the RDC's $2.6 million price tag for employee compensations.

The RDC's 36 full-time employees average of $63,000 a year, including benefits.

You look at that salary and you ask the question: Are we getting more for this higher salary than we would have gotten for a lower salary, if we kept it in-house at the city?" said Wharton.

The mayor said the city may consider moving riverfront operations in-house, but he did not write off the RDC.

"They cannot control steel prices and things like that, then again, they're at the helm over there and they're going to be held accountable," said Wharton.

RDC President Benny Lendermon explained the Landing's latest hiccup.

"At some point, you have to decide if you want to fund a riverfront at a level less than you spent in 1999," said Lendermon. "Expectations of the Riverfront Development Corporation on quality of the product maybe exceeded what the restaurateur was willing to provide."

Lendermon said the Landing yields the city $90 million a year from American Queen with three more companies coming.

There is still a discussion of who will take over the restaurant.

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