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The original item was published from 3/20/2023 7:00:21 AM to 6/5/2023 8:38:39 AM.

News Flash

City Manager's Update

Posted on: March 13, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City Manager's Update - March 13, 2023


Good Morning Lakeland Residents!

And happy Spring Break to LSS! If you, like me, are traveling this week - I wish you well and safe travels there and back again. While I am out of the office this week, urgent matters may be addressed with our Acting City Manager, Emily Harrell (City Engineer). She can be reached at City Hall by calling 901-867-2717. As always, I can be reached via email at - it will just be next week when I follow up!

As always, let's take a look back to last week and a look ahead to what's in store at City Hall this week. 

A Look Back to Last Week

LSS Board of Education Meeting

On Monday March 6th, the LSS Board of Education (BoE) met at City Hall. Meeting recordings for BoE meetings can be found on the LSS YouTube page. Additionally, scroll down to the link for last week's Board of Commissioners meeting, where Vice-Mayor Wesley Wright gave an update on the meeting. 

Beer Board Meeting

Thursday night saw two back-to-back meetings of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), started off by the Beer Board meeting with two applicants. With Mayor Josh Roman, Vice-Mayor Wright, and Commissioner Jim Atkinson in attendance, there was a quorum to conduct business. The two applications were for "off premises permits" - meaning, they could sell beer that could be carried off the premises - and the locations were the new convenience store in Lakeland Commons, and the 64 Express on Highway 64. Both permits were approved with a vote of 3-0. 

Board of Commissioners Meeting

Following the beer board meeting, the BOC met in regular session. With Commissioner Michele Dial and Commissioner Connie McCarter joining the remaining three BOC members, there was full attendance. 

If you watch the video, you'll note that the order of business was modified to accommodate several guest presenters, speakers, and public comment. However, this recap follows the order of the published agenda. 

  • Public hearing was held on two final readings of Ordinances - to change cell tower setback requirements, and to amend the Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Budget. One member of the public spoke against the cell tower setback modification. 
  • Several update reports were given - the Treasurer's Report for February by Finance Director Carlin Stuart, the Sheriff's Report by Lt. Less of Shelby County Sheriff's Office, my City Manager's report, and each member of the BOC gave updates on commissions and committees to which they serve as liaisons. 
  • The consent agenda was approved unanimously by acclamation, after Commissioner McCarter provided some grammatical/proofing corrections to the minutes. The items approved were - 
    • Minutes from prior BOC meetings
    • First reading of an Ordinance related to the City's official depositories (bank accounts)
    • A Resolution approving a contract with Kimley Horn to update the City's land development regulations (LDRs)
    • A Resolution approving the contract with Verizon for City mobile services
    • A Resolution approving a contract with Eutaw Construction for the Clear Creek Interceptor
    • A Resolution accepting public improvements for certain phases of Winstead Farms
    • And a Resolution authorizing me, as City Manager, to engage real estate or financial advisory services in support of economic development in the Lakeland Gateway TIF District

Following the consent agenda, these items were presented as part of the BOC meeting's regular agenda:

  • Second and final reading of an Ordinance to change cell tower setback requirements. After two amendments to the Ordinance were approved, clarifying the language of the Ordinance, the Ordinance was approved with a vote of 5-0. 
  • Second and final reading of an Ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Budget (adding revenues and expenditures with zero impact on fund balance). This was approved via acclamation. 
  • The first reading of an Ordinance to change sewer fees was up for a vote. John Chlarson with the University of Tennessee's Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) prepared the report and rate study supporting the Ordinance, and Mr. Chlarson presented the BOC with details of his report. Mayor Roman inquired as to the treatment of certain expenditure categories in the study, and ultimately was the sole vote "no" on the first reading, which passed on first reading with a vote of 4-1. 

John Chlarson presenting to the Board of Commissioners

John Chlarson of MTAS presenting to the Board of Commissioners, photo by Alexis Cheyenne Photography

  • A Resolution changing the 2023 meeting schedule of the BOC and other boards, along with some of our budget preparation calendar milestones, was passed unanimously via acclamation. This means going forward, the BOC will meet on the first and third Thursdays at 6pm, both voting sessions.
  • Watkins Uiberall, PLLC, was reapproved as the City's external auditors through a Resolution approving 5-0 their three-year engagement with the City. 
  • Enscor, LLC was approved as contractor for construction of the parking lot at I.H. Park via Resolution with a vote of 5-0.
  • Blue Siren was awarded the contract for sanitary sewer flow monitoring unanimously via acclamation approving the related Resolution.
  • A Resolution presented by Commissioner Dial was approved unanimously via acclamation, giving the Mayor authority to pursue legislative changes related to the elimination of cashless bonds and enhancement of consequences for repeat offenders, especially juveniles.
  • A Resolution was approved unanimously via acclamation to award the contract to install guard rails on dangerous roadways to Tri-State Guardrail & Sign Co.
  • In addition to the published agenda, Mayor Roman presented for discussion the possibility of installing lighting on the existing two fields on Memphis-Arlington Road. After discussion, the Mayor presented a Resolution to assign $400,000 of General Fund fund balance (which currently stands at over $10 million unassigned) toward the project. The Resolution passed with a vote of 4-1, with Commissioner McCarter voting against the measure. 

Mayor Roman and Commissioner Atkinson

Mayor Roman and Commissioner Atkinson, photo by Alexis Cheyenne Photography

A Look Ahead to This Week

Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission

The MPDRC will meet this Thursday at City Hall at 5:30pm. Here's a preview of the agenda:

  • Dunkin Donuts is presenting a site plan for approval to change out their awnings
  • Now that the cell tower setback Ordinance was approved, a cell tower located at 8922 US Highway 64 is being presented for approval.
  • Although listed on the agenda, the discussion related to the Mobil Station's lighting plan will likely be deferred to April, allowing the owners to be in attendance. 

To Be Continued...

With Spring Break, travels, and limited board actions this week - it should give City Staff and all of us a chance to breathe, catch our breath, and then continue the great work and progress of this City! Work and progress that is always - you guessed it - to be continued...

In Your Service,

Michael Walker, City Manager

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