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Lakeland News

Posted on: May 1, 2023

City Manager's Update - May 1, 2023


Good Morning Lakeland Residents!

It's May, and a busy month ahead for the City of Lakeland. There are several community activities planned for this month, everything from trail runs to sports and recreation registrations - please be sure to follow for all the latest announcements, as well as our official social media pages. Let's jump in with...

A Look Back to Last Week

Community Advisory Board Meeting

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) met last Tuesday evening at 5:30pm at City Hall. The CAB meeting was a more informal information sharing session, with me providing the volunteer board members, which each represent a distinct residential area within the City of Lakeland, with updates on recent events and activities, and encouraging them to bring neighborhood concerns to the board as well as assist in communicating with other residents on City initiatives. Here's what we discussed:

  • Public safety and Neighborhood Watch - we discussed the recent appointment of Commissioner Connie McCarter as the Board of Commissioners (BOC) Neighborhood Watch liaison, and discussed how involved the CAB members may wish to be with coordinating and communicating with their neighbors about the program. Ultimately, the CAB decided that public safety in general should remain a topic of update for their quarterly meetings.
  • Communications plan - I provided a more in-depth update on the City's communications plan than what was provided in the BOC meeting a week prior, and walked through with the CAB members some highlights of the City's new website changes. 
  • Economic development - we discussed the current status and general updates on each of the City's three tax increment financing (TIF) districts - Lakeland Commons, The Lake District, and Lakeland Gateway.

A Look Ahead to This Week

Lakeland Board of Education Meeting

This evening at 5:45pm the Lakeland Board of Education with hold their work session for May at City Hall. The full agenda they will discuss can be found at this link, as well as a link to their YouTube page where the meetings are live streamed.

Board of Commissioners Meeting

The BOC will meet Thursday evening at 6pm at City Hall in regular session. Here is a preview of what's to be considered this week, which will be published on tomorrow:

  • The budget amendment to recognize the City's revenues from the American Rescue and Recovery Plan Act will be up for final reading, as well as public hearing.
  • There are three items on the agenda that are interrelated, and connected to the Arcadia residential development. One is under Sewerage Commission business, and two under BOC business (the Sewerage Commission is a State-required body to approve certain waste water system activities, and our elected BOC members all serve as the Sewerage Commission). All three items essentially work together to extend the approved timeline for this development by an additional three (3) years.
  • The BOC will consider a resolution approving an agreement with Holbrook Asphalt for pavement preservation - representatives from Holbrook will be on hand Thursday to explain their process.
  • A resolution to accept public improvements (a portion of Campus Drive and some sewer improvements) from Lakeland School System will be presented.
  • In follow up to recent discussions at a BOC meeting, Vice-Mayor Wright will provide the Mayor and Commissioners with an update on considerations related to the use of library facilities at LPS.

In the mean time, Finance Director Carlin Stuart continues to work diligently on the City's Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Budget for first reading, which is expected on May 18th. 

Day of Prayer

A Day of Prayer will be held in Lakeland this Thursday, May 4, 2023. Commissioner Connie McCarter will host a Day of Prayer event at I.H. Clubhouse at 10am Thursday, and all are welcome to attend!

To Be Continued...

In the last BOC meeting of April, the Mayor presented and the Board authorized a resolution for me to negotiate for the City's purchase of some properties in the Lakeland Gateway TIF District. Last week, I and my staff met with those owners to continue to work toward agreements that will benefit the City and enable us to proceed with plans to collaborate with the YMCA of the Mid-South to bring much-needed recreational (and child care) facilities to Lakeland, in support of one of the BOC's strategic goals. While this work is obviously "to be continued", great progress is being made!

Great progress is being made, and this is where we will leave it for another week. As always, reach out to me any time at with questions, thoughts, concerns, or just to share what you love about Lakeland, Tennessee! Until then, I remain...

In Your Service,

Michael Walker, City Manager

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