MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Call it the Beale Street blues. Almost two years ago, Mayor A C Wharton formed a committee and hired a consultant to figure out how what to do with the city's most famous street. More than $70,000 in taxpayer money was spent.
For the past six months, the consultants report outlining what the city should do when it takes over control of Beale Street has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust.
Beale Street took years to redevelop. It could be years before we learn details of a report paid for by you, the taxpayers.
Beale Street merchants like Ty Agee are eager to see it. "Everyone wants to know, I'd love to know what's in it."
The truth is, Mayor A C Wharton could release the report but hasn't.
The reason, says Wharton, is because Performa, the company that has managed Beale Street for decades, is in bankruptcy court.
In 2010 the city and Performa reached an agreement over control of Beale Street. Now the city is taking over. Until the bankruptcy judge signs off on the deal, Wharton won't release the report that outlines the future of the street.
"We'd much prefer not to have a false start; let the judge rule so we know precisely what we are dealing with," Wharton said. "We're standing by the minute we get the keys we've got folks ready to step in and keep it going and growing, more importantly."
But the longer the Beale Street court case drags on, sources tell ABC 24 the greater the chance the report will never be released. That's because report is already six months old. The truth is everyday it gets older, more outdated and obsolete.
Agee noted, "You've got to get done with the past before moving forward."
The truth is if the report were released, at least the public could see first hand how their money was spent.
Even the consultant who put the report together is frustrated. He said the draft is done; he's just waiting on the green light from the mayor's office to release it.