Good Morning Lakeland Residents,
Let's jump right into things on this Monday morning with the headlines for this week:
- The Board of Commissioners (BOC) will consider the final passage of new sewer user rates
- The current year's budget will be further amended to add revenues (recognizing the City's use of American Rescue Plan funds)
As always, the City's public meetings are live streamed and past meeting materials can be found at lakelandtn.gov/agendas.
Our website vendor made a change over the weekend that alters the look, feel, and navigation of the Agendas page. Overall, this should be a good change, but in this update (down below), I'll provide a quick tutorial on how to navigate the changes. But first, let's take...
A Look Back to Last Week
Parks and Recreation and Natural Resources Board Meeting
The PRB met Tuesday night at 5:30pm at City Hall. Here is a quick run down of what you'll find from the meeting:
- Earlier in the year, Mayor Roman asked that the PRB set goals for all recreation programs. In line with that request, last week the PRB discussed the tennis program. The tennis instructor was on hand, and noted that currently the program sizes are low due to lack of available tennis courts. With six to eight courts (thus, the goal), tennis instruction could occur alongside general public use, and allow for tournaments and games in conjunction with Lakeland School System programs. Here's a link to Tennis Clinics.
- The PRB also discussed the cheer program and efforts to revive competitive cheer. The beginner cheer program would have participants cheer at recreation football and basketball games. Here's a link to Fall 2023 Recreation Football and Competitive Cheer.
- The programs at the Senior Center were also discussed. It was noted that the Lakeland Senior Center is one of few senior centers in West Tennessee without a required membership fee. The idea of an annual membership for a nominal fee to help offset the rising costs of Senior Center programs was discussed by the PRB, and City staff explained that certain membership pricing would then be implemented for select programs and events to help seniors absorb the cost of the annual membership. Programs offered through the City’s partnership with Creative Aging would remain cost-free. It was noted that the City offers line-dancing and yoga programs in the afternoons that are not limited to seniors, for a $3 drop in fee.
Municipal Planning and Design Review Commission Meeting
The MPDRC met Thursday night at 5:30pm at City Hall. Here is a quick recap:
- The time extension on the Arcadia planned residential development was approved unanimously via acclamation. This action simply extends the time the developers have available to implement their previously-approved planned development, and did not involve any changes to the specifics of the residential development.
- The MPDRC discussed an update on a lighting plan for the Mobil Station in Lakeland that had been approved in 2018. Since the time of approval, certain changes had been made to the station's lighting, while others were never implemented. The issues were brought to the Planning Department's attention by a concerned resident, and in researching the actions and minutes from 2018 City Staff felt it best to obtain the MPDRC's input on how to proceed in the matter. Ultimately, the direction given was that the station should either follow the design and lighting elements from the 2018 materials submitted with the application, or submit a revised lighting plan. No voting action was taken in regard to this matter.
- Planning Director Paul Luker gave the MPDRC an update on the progress of the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan and the City's land development regulations review, ultimately encouraging commissioner involvement in the remaining public meetings related to the plan.
Suburban Mayor's Meeting
The suburban mayors of Shelby County meet quarterly to discuss shared areas of interest or concern affecting more than one municipality of the group. Last Thursday, the group met in Germantown and due to a conflict, Mayor Roman asked that I attend to represent Lakeland. Here is a brief update on some of the matters discussed:
- The Interim Executive Director of the Memphis Area Association of Governments (MAAG) presented to the group. MAAG includes members from Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, and Lauderdale counties in Tennessee, as well as members from eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. MAAG is currently revitalizing, and seeking input from municipalities on how we see their value and services, with the ultimate goal of improving membership and participation.
- Doug McGowan, head of MLGW, presented to the group and expressed his desire to hold regular meetings with municipal mayors, and encouraged the group to fill the two advisory positions on the MLGW board of directors.
- Steve Mulroy, Shelby County District Attorney General, presented to the group and discussed several of the justice initiatives currently underway, including initiatives related to juvenile crime. While many of the initiatives presented were long-term solutions designed for early intervention and prevention, several members of the group asked about and called for more immediate changes and reforms.
A Look Ahead to this Week
Board of Commissioners Meeting
The BOC will meet Thursday night at 6pm at City Hall. Here's a look at what to expect on the agenda, which will be published Tuesday:
- Regular reports will include the financial update from March for the City's funds, the Sheriff's report, my City Manager's report, and reports from Commissioner liaisons on recent public meetings of the various boards and commissions.
- Two ordinances are up for final reading -
- to establish new sewer user rates, based on a rate study performed by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service and verified by Watkins Uiberall, PLLC, and
- to make a date update on the agreement with the City of Memphis in the sewer code.
- An ordinance is up for first reading to amend the fiscal year 2023 (current year) budget. This amendment does not increase appropriations, but rather recognizes the use of the City's allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
- Commissioner McCarter will bring forward two resolutions for approval -
- to proclaim May 4, 2023 as a Day of Prayer in Lakeland, and
- to proclaim May 2023 as Nurses Month in Lakeland.
Going Through Changes...
As I stated earlier, our website vendor made a change over the weekend that affected the Agendas & Minutes page at lakelandtn.gov/agendas. To help you navigate the changes, here are some quick tips:
- Rather than at the top of the Agendas section as before, the upcoming meetings are now at the bottom of the list - scroll down and you'll see them.
- If you don't like the "scroll method", use the Filters:
- Within Filters, you can select only the board you wish to view - such as Board of Commissioners (if all you see is the greyed-out screen at first, scroll down until you see the selection box):
- In addition to the category filter, you can also filter a date range - for example, if I want to see all Board of Commissioners meetings this year, I would enter January 1, 2023 as the "From Date" and leave the "To Date" blank:
- Simply hit the X in the top right corner when you finish your filter selections, and then you'll see this scrollable list of meetings:
- To view a meeting, simply click anywhere in the meeting tile - let's look at the January 12 regular meeting - here's what it looks like after you click it:
- It defaults to the list of files you can click to view as a PDF, or click the arrow and download - however, if you scroll to the bottom of the page you'll see this:
- "Meeting Overview" will give you a listing of the agenda items, with hyperlinks to supporting materials included. "Meeting Media" is where you'll find the recording of the meeting after the fact, or the live stream while live. "Meeting Files" (the default) is where you can download the agenda or agenda packet. And "Share Meeting" is where you can send an email with a link directly to the meeting to others.
In addition to this navigational brief introduction, you can also use the search bar to find specific keywords, dates, or boards you wish to view.
To Be Continued...
Remember to stay plugged in to the City through our website, our social media, and our Lakeland Connect app. And as always, reach out to me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager