Good Morning Lakeland Residents,
As we begin another week in the City of Lakeland, let's once again look back at last week's activities and look ahead to what's coming up this week. Our headlines for this week are:
- The Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan's second public engagement workshop is Tuesday evening at 6pm at the I.H. Clubhouse and will focus on gathering feedback on the economic growth strategy
- The Board of Commissioners' work session Thursday evening at 5:30pm at City Hall will be the Board's first introduction to the business items they will vote upon in regular session on March 9th - including several business items related to the City's wastewater system
I encourage you to read further to learn more about what's coming up, but first...
A Look Back to Last Week
On Tuesday February 21st the Parks and Recreation and Natural Resources Board (PRB) met at City Hall. The meeting was rescheduled from the prior week due to Valentine's Day. Here is a quick recap of the meeting - but as always, you can view the entire video of the meeting at lakelandtn.gov/agendas to learn more.
- Sean Andre with Tennessee Soccer Academy spoke with the PRB on the progress of growing the Lakeland Recreation Soccer Program. The spring session is scheduled to begin March 20th.
- PRB Members received a short update on Phase II of the Lakeland Athletic Complex (see link to revised concept presented to the BOC in November 2022). Design and Engineering should be at 50% completion by the end of June, and completion is expected in the 2024 Fiscal Year.
- The board unanimously voted to reinstall PRB leadership for the 2023 calendar year as follows;
- Mr. Mark Donley as the Chairman
- Mr. Steve Snow as the Vice-Chairman
- Mrs. Amber Sawyer as the Secretary
- The majority of the meeting was devoted to program and goal setting for the Youth football program. Eight previous flag and tackle coaches were in attendance, engaging in an open dialogue between them and the PRB about how to support the program and have the flag and tackle programs co-exist and work to support each other. Additional conversations were had on how to prepare the program and the athletes to participate in the Lakeland Preparatory School football program when they enter middle school.
Lakeland Gateway TIF Update
Last Wednesday, February 22nd, I spent the majority of the day downtown at the Shelby County Commission chambers, as the Lakeland Gateway TIF Economic Impact Plan was presented for final approval by the Board of Commissioners of Shelby County. Along with consultant Dexter Muller, Lakeland IDB attorney Al Bright, and City Attorney Will Patterson, we were available for Shelby County Commissioner questions on the plan during their morning subcommittee meeting. That afternoon, the Shelby County Commission met in regular voting session, where the Lakeland Gateway TIF EIP was approved as part of the consent agenda. I'd like to extend a special thank you to our Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright for his sponsorship and support of this project.
Lakeland Gateway TIF Area
The next steps in the development of the Lakeland Gateway area will include working with the developer of Ashmont to revise their outline plan and craft a related development agreement to take advantage of the tax increment financing. Also included in the BOC's agenda for March is Mayor Josh Roman's sponsored proposal to enable me, as City Manager, to engage any needed real estate or financial advisory services necessary to enable the City of Lakeland to take full advantage of the revitalization of this area.
Other Matters Last Week
Also last week, and in follow up to the BOC's Resolution to do so on January 24th, I met with representatives from the facilities planning department of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to discuss space, location, and departmental needs to increase their physical presence in the City of Lakeland. In follow up to this meeting, they will provide me with information on office space and other facilities needs, which will be reported back to the BOC in a future meeting.
A Look Ahead to This Week
Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan Public Engagement Workshop
On Tuesday evening at 6p at I.H. Clubhouse the City of Lakeland will host the second public engagement workshop for the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan update. Led by our team of consultants with Kimley-Horn, the focus of the workshop will be on providing the public with an update on the plan's status, including the status of the transportation plan component, followed by the majority of the allotted time being devoted to gathering public input and responses to the current proposed growth strategy resulting from initial public feedback.
This simply means - we need you to be there! Please encourage your neighbors and your HOA board members to attend as well. Recent meetings at City Hall have reminded us all of one thing: Lakeland cares. Lakeland cares about where and how development and growth occurs, and this is the perfect opportunity to suit up and show up and make your voice heard! Okay, so don't feel obligated to literally suit up - it's a come as you are event...
Board of Commissioners Work Session
Thursday evening at 5:30pm at City Hall is the BOC's scheduled work session for March 2023. The full and final agenda will be posted at lakelandtn.gov/agendas by Tuesday afternoon, but here's a preview of the matters to be discussed in March by your elected officials:
- Two Ordinances are up for public hearing and final reading in March (voting session on March 9th) - one finalizes code revisions regarding wireless transmission (cell) tower required setbacks, and one finalizes a budget amendment increasing both revenues and expenditures for a grant from Shelby County to make accommodation improvements at City Hall
- Two Ordinances will be presented for first reading in March - one modifies the Lakeland municipal code regarding official depositories (bank accounts) of the City, better aligning our code language to updated State of Tennessee statutes, and the other is the first reading of changes to Sewer rates for Lakeland residential and commercial customers.
- The Sewer rate change ordinance will not actually be discussed by the Board until March 9th, when the representative from the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) who performed the study will be in attendance to present
- A Resolution will be discussed to change the meeting dates of the BOC from a work session on the first Thursday each month, and a voting meeting on the second Thursday each month, to two voting meetings monthly - on the first and third Thursdays
- Several Resolutions will be discussed regarding the awarding of successful bidders on City contracts -
- To re-install the overflow parking lot at I.H. Park
- To install guardrails along Seed Tick and Stewart roads
- To update the City's land development regulations
- To continue the City's contract with our City Staff mobile service provider
- For construction of the Clear Creek Interceptor wastewater (sewer) project
- For sewer flow monitoring
- And to perform the audit of the City of Lakeland for fiscal year 2023
- Two other Resolutions will be discussed - one to accept public improvements in certain phases of Winstead Farms, and the other to authorize me to engage real estate and/or financial advisory services in support of economic development in the Lakeland Gateway
- Additionally, there are four discussion items on the agenda -
- A potential appeal of the MPDRC's denial of revisions to The Lake District planned development amendments
- Potential revisions to the City's noise ordinance (sponsored by Vice-Mayor Wesley Wright)
- Strategies to encourage County, State, and Federal leadership to eliminate cashless bond and enhance consequences for repeat offenders, especially juveniles (sponsored by Commissioner Michele Dial)
- The presentation of expenditure trends for Public Works, Engineering, and Wastewater departments (a conclusion of the educational session promoted by Mayor Roman in anticipation of Lakeland's initial budget preparation for fiscal year 2024)
To Be Continued...
The meetings from last week, and those planned for this week, are opportunities for you to be informed and involved in City governance. We welcome your input at all stages, and in all activities and events. We are here for you, and to serve this excellent community!
As always, please email any questions or concerns to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I remain...
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager