The scenery outside my window is changing quickly and the colors on the trees are too short-lived! I'm enjoying them while they are still around before we officially enter cold weather (today, apparently...). We are moving right along here at City Hall but, before we jump to what's going on this week, let's recap last week:
A Look Back at Last Week
Community Advisory Board
The Community Advisory Board (CAB) met on Tuesday of last week at 5:30pm. With ongoing construction, this meeting was held in conference room A and, while not livestreamed, it was recorded. As soon as the recording is available, it can be found here. There were only 4 members in attendance so most of the meeting was simply discussion. One item discussed was public safety and, more specifically, the role that the CAB would play in the neighborhood watch program. Some concern that came up was the infrequency of CAB meetings; this would not provide an opportunity for discussion/action as often as needed with a topic as important as public and neighborhood safety. Ultimately, the board had minor discussion but decided to defer this item to the next agenda for the input of other members including Commissioner Dial.
More educational in manor was the presentation from PATH Company representative, William Franklin, who provided information on street light assessments and conversions to LED lights and also a presentation on TIF districts given by Finance Director, Andrea Perkins. The board members asked pertinent questions to help gain knowledge on both subjects.
A Look Ahead to This Week
Beer Board Meeting
With a late-breaking application and a pending opening soon, the Beer Board (comprised of members of the BOC) is expected to meet Thursday at 5:45pm, ahead of the regular BOC meeting, to consider a beer permit application from Portales Mexican Restaurant, planned to open in The Lake District.
Board of Commissioners Meeting
The Board of Commissioners (BOC) is scheduled to meet this Thursday at 6:00pm. The construction in the board room is currently ongoing but we do have high hopes it will be done in time for the meeting. If the work is not complete, we will move the meeting to conference room A at City Hall. As with previous meetings in this room, we will be recording the meeting and putting the video on our website, but the meeting will not be live streamed. It seems as though this decision will likely be made on Thursday. The topics up for discussion:
a resolution authorizing the City Manager and City Attorney to draft an agreement for use of City property at 0 Huff N Puff Road by The Refuge Church.
- potentially requiring all new electric lines around the Seed Tick and Old Brownsville road areas to be underground.
- considering approval of the Equestria Planned Development outline plan.
- potentially changing the effective date of the July 1, 2023 sewer rate increase.
The sewer rate increase item is especially important. Based on interpretation differences of the wording of our sewer rate ordinance, MLGW has not billed the intended rates. Rather than risk residents and business getting hit with large adjustments during the holiday season, Mayor Roman wants to discuss with the BOC the potential of simply changing the effective date of the rate, avoiding this burden on the rate-payers.
The shift from calling in bulk waste pickup requests to the new route schedule begins this Wednesday, November 1st. Our public works department was able to finalize and verify that they will be mimicking the trash pickup schedule to alleviate any confusion. So, for example, if your scheduled trash pickup day is on Monday, the drivers for the bulk waste pick up service will also be collecting that day. If you're new to Lakeland and are unsure of your trash pickup day, you can visit this link to search your address. As a reminder, if you have more than 10 cubic yards of waste, or have an appliance, these requests will still be called in to City Hall as there is a charge for these services. All of the bulk waste pickup rules and regulations can be found on our website. For any additional questions or information, please call City Hall at 901-867-2717.
Parks and Recreation
The parks have been officially winterized for the season. The water has been shut off and the bathrooms are closed. This typically lasts until March but will ultimately depend on how soon the warm weather in the spring rolls in.
Coming soon, I'll be pushing out information on how to sign up for Lakeland's new "CodeRed" system - this system is a communications and alerts system that uses geo-location combined with mobile alerts to notify residents of things such as road closures, local emergencies, and other important updates. As we implement the system, you'll be able to decide which areas you'd like to be notified on, and this is one more way that the City of Lakeland will attempt to stay connected to you with useful and timely information - so be sure to sign up quickly when it's live, before an event occurs! As I said earlier, this time of year - anything can happen. And we want to ensure that when the unforeseen does occur, we're able to continue to communicate as much as possible in as many ways as possible to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Community Clean Up Day
Our Public Works department has scheduled the final Community Clean Up day for the year to be held on Saturday, November 4th. One important update from previous years events is location; the clean up day will now be held at City Hall. I'm attaching a map of how the traffic will flow. As always, you can view specific details on our Trash and Recycle website page and a follow up news article will be posted this week as well. For this event and this event only, you'll be able to drive through that special area that says "authorized vehicles only"!
Community Advisory Board Volunteer Needed
The District 1 seat for the CAB is still open and available for a qualified volunteer. If you live north of the Loosahatchie in Lakeland and are interested in filling this position, please complete the volunteer application.
For instructions on how to sign up for website notifications to stay up to date with City of Lakeland news, please visit my previous City Manager's Update. There is a detailed step-by-step list of instructions with visual screenshots to help assist you. You can also find updates on information from our city official social media pages.
To Be Continued...
As always, please reach out to me any time at email@example.com with questions, concerns, ideas, or improvements. Happy Halloween!
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager