Memphis Inspection Employees Face Uncertain Future

Memphis Inspection Employees Face Uncertain Future

For 50 City of Memphis employees, a prolonged summer vacation they didn't ask for is about to start.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - For 50 City of Memphis employees, a prolonged summer vacation they didn't ask for is about to start.

Staring next month, inspection stations across Memphis will close, leaving Donnie Briggs, and 49 of her co-workers out of a job.

"They try and make it sound better by saying involuntary retirement, but you are firing over 50 something people," Briggs said. "As a minister, I try not to cuss, but I think I did. It sucks tremendously."

Briggs has worked for the city for two decades, the last 12 years in vehicle inspections. She says she likes the work for the variety of people she gets to meet.

Last year, the City Council cut funding for emission testing, as it searched for ways to balance the budget for this cash-strapped city. Cutting emission testing saved the city nearly $3 million.

"I feel like I was caught up in a lot of political game. I just can't see how they can find money one minute and lose it the next," Briggs said.

Without the funding, the city's four inspection stations will close on July 1st. The move will mean Memphis is out of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency. In other Tennessee cities, the state manages the testing, then charges drivers a fee.

"I am taking my pension and I am going to pay my house off, so I will have somewhere to stay," Briggs said.


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