If you have been invested in the demolition of the Econolodge, this is the City Manager's Update you have been waiting for! But before we jump in to what's going on this week, let's recap last week:
A Look Back at Last Week
Municipal Planning/Design Review Committee
The MPDRC had a regularly scheduled meeting last Thursday at 5:30pm at City Hall. The agenda and recorded video is posted to our website but here is a general overview of what was discussed:
- The approval of the Evergreen Landscape Plan was presented by our staff planner, Alex Barthol and there was light discussion with the applicant of the development around the mailboxes that will be installed, but, overall, the MPDRC approved this 5-0.
- The approval of a land disturbance permit at Beverle Rivera Drive was presented again by Alex with light discussion and also passed unanimously 6-0 (this number is different than the above number because a member of the board arrived late and did not vote for the first item).
- Discussion of the Ritter fiberoptic internet project in Lakeland was a popular topic for the evening. The discussion was kicked off by Mayor Roman, who was in attendance to address the issues, and the board heard public comment from several residents who had mixed reviews of their work. Representatives from Ritter were also in attendance who listened to the feedback from both the residents and the MPDRC and addressed the members and the public with their gratitude in feedback as well as their willingness to fix any issues that are reported to them. All in all, this discussion topic was productive and respectful. For reference, if you have an issue/comment/concern to report to Ritter, the construction hotline number is 833-565-1994; please do not hesitate to reach out to them.
Lakeland School System Board of Education Meeting
The Lakeland School System Board of Education had a work session last Monday at City Hall at 5:45pm, as well as a regular meeting last night with the same start time. The meetings' agendas can be found here, and the meeting recordings can be found here.
A Look Ahead to This Week
Parks and Recreation Board
The Parks and Recreation Board (PRB) has a meeting tonight at 5:30pm. The agenda is posted to our website and here is a review of the discussion items:
- Updates on the Lakeland Athletic Complex. Phase I Lighting
- IH Managerial Park Restroom Facility Project
- Division Updates
Board of Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners (BOC) have a regular meeting this Thursday at the updated time of 5:30pm. The agenda will be posted no later than this evening at 5:30pm; but, for now, here is a general overview of the items:
After months of preparation, mediation, and anticipation, the first physical signs of the plan, initiated by Mayor Roman and backed by the BOC, for the revitalization of the Huff N Puff corridor in the Lakeland Gateway came to pass last week with the official kick-off of the demolition of the EconoLodge!
To the sound of cheers, Mayor Roman, Vice-Mayor Wright, Commissioner Atkinson, and Commissioner Dial were all on-hand, along with City Staff and community representatives from the YMCA and theRefuge Church, as we watched Mayor Roman take the first swing at the building with the track hoe! In the coming months, efforts to change the face of our Gateway will continue, but it was exciting to see this manifestation of the combined efforts of us all!
The shift from calling in bulk waste pickup requests to the new route schedule has officially started. 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.
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.
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager