Good Morning Lakeland Residents!
Last week we had our update on the Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan and a Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting - this week there is only one public meeting: The Industrial Development Board (IDB) meets Thursday evening at City Hall. For an update on what happened and what’s planned for this week, please read on below and as always, view the full agendas, materials, and meeting recordings at lakelandtn.gov/agendas.
Additionally, for those curious as to the current meeting schedule, including any changes or cancelations, this is always kept up to date at lakelandtn.gov/calendar.
A Look Back at Last Week
Lakeland P.U.L.S.E. Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee
The PULSE advisory committee met last Tuesday night at City Hall. The topic of discussion was the proposed land use plan, an important component of the overall comprehensive plan. Five of the nine committee members were in attendance - Kevin Bingham, Mark Donley, Carl Helton, Randall Hoeschen, and Commissioner Connie McCarter.
- Michael Shelton, project lead with Kimley-Horn, presented the land use plan to the advisory committee to obtain their feedback and explained that the land use plan is a vision document - it does not represent a rezoning of existing parcels.
- Planning Director Paul Luker also spoke to the committee and explained that any potential rezoning that followed after the comprehensive plan adoption and update of the land development regulations would be at the determination, ultimately, of the BOC, and is not an automatic thing as part of the comp plan adoption.
- There were members of the public in attendance, and George Munchow of Scott’s Nursery encouraged the advisory committee to retain commercial mixed-use along Highway 70 - Vice-Mayor Wesley Wright also spoke as a public attendee and encouraged the committee to start with the end in mind, keeping an eye on the vision for Lakeland in the future rather than as it stands today.
Following this meeting, the next steps in the process will be for the PULSE Plan advisors to document and implement any needed changes from the feedback received. The PULSE Plan will ultimately be adopted in final form by the BOC.
Board of Commissioners Meeting
The BOC met Thursday night at City Hall with all members in attendance. Prior to the meeting, the City hosted a Nurses reception in honor of Nurses’ Month in Lakeland with several community nursing leaders in attendance, as the Mayor presented the signed proclamation approved in April.
The Board of Commissioners with community nurses in celebration of Nurses Month in Lakeland
Here’s a recap of what happened during the meeting:
- Reports were given from various presenters, officers, and committees, including -
- The Sheriff’s report for April.
- Dr. Ted Horrell of Lakeland School System updated the BOC on the highlights of the fiscal year 2024 school system budget, adopted by the Board of Education.
- Mr. Terry Adams of Midsouth Veterans League Inc., at Mayor Josh Roman’s invitation, addressed the BOC expressing a desire to build a veterans museum and community gathering space in Lakeland, including the potential to host Sheriff’s office space on any planned site.
- The Vice-Mayor and Commissioners gave updates on the boards and committees to which they serve as liaisons - the Board of Education (Wright), Parks and Recreation & Natural Resources Board (Dial), Municipal Planning & Design Review Commission (Atkinson), and P.U.L.S.E. Advisory Committee (McCarter).
- Following these updates, the agenda was reorganized and heard as follows:
- Item 3 on the regular agenda was moved to the top, followed by Item 5 - Item 3 was a resolution to approve an agreement with CMJ Cleaning Service LLC for janitorial services at City facilities. Former Commissioner Richard Gonzales spoke to the BOC, raising questions related to the agreement, which the BOC then tabled until a future meeting.
- Item 5, also moved to the top of the regular agenda, was Mayor Roman’s resolution to authorize the City Attorney and me to negotiate for the purchase of the Relax Inn site and the land adjacent to it as an ideal site to host certain Sheriff’s Office facility needs. After much discussion, the resolution was approved 4-1, with Commissioner McCarter opposed.
- Next on the agenda was the first reading of the fiscal year 2024 annual budget ordinance, adopting the budget and property tax rate for the coming fiscal year. Mayor Roman discussed the need for additional funding related to the redevelopment of the Lakeland Gateway and solicited input from the other Commissioners. After discussion, which can be viewed at lakelandtn.gov/agendas in the meeting video, the Mayor proposed to amend Section 9 of the ordinance to set the property tax rate at $1.19 per $100 assessed value in order to accomplish the BOC’s vision for the area. The first reading passed as amended with a vote of 4-1, with Commissioner McCarter opposed.
- An ordinance amending the current fiscal year’s budget was presented on first reading. This amendment was solely to adjust the current year’s budget for the deposit of funds related to the condemnation proceedings for the Econo Lodge site, which was approved unanimously via resolution May 4th. This budget amendment, on first reading, was approved 4-1, with Commissioner McCarter opposed.
- A resolution for the purchase of an additional vehicle in Public Works was approved 4-1, with Commissioner McCarter opposed.
- A resolution authorizing certificates of appreciation to be presented to coordinators of Neighborhood Watch programs was presented by Commissioner McCarter, and was approved unanimously via acclamation.
- Mayor Roman added an item to the agenda to adjust the BOC’s meeting calendar during the summer months of June, July, and August. Commissioner McCarter objected to the addition of the agenda item, requiring the BOC to vote upon whether the agenda item could be added. The BOC voted 4-1 to add the agenda item, with Commissioner McCarter opposed. The resolution, adjusting the meeting calendar, effectuates the cancelation of the June 1st, July 6th, and August 3rd BOC meetings, and was passed by a vote of 4 in favor, with Commissioner McCarter abstained.
A Look Ahead to This Week
Industrial Development Board Meeting
The Lakeland IDB, a separate governmental non-profit, meets this Thursday at 5:30pm at City Hall. As of now, the only expected item for the agenda is consideration, discussion, and possible approval of a development agreement between the Lakeland IDB and the City of Lakeland for the Lakeland Gateway. Typically, after a TIF District is established, the IDB enters a development agreement in line with the economic impact plan (EIP) previously approved by the IDB, the BOC, and the Shelby County Commission. As a reminder, this EIP was approved in February by all bodies. For the previous TIF Districts in Lakeland, the IDB has entered agreements directly with the developers. In the case of the Lakeland Gateway, the development agreement will be with the City itself, serving as overall project manager, if you will, of the entirety of the TIF District. The IDB can then enter into sub-development agreements with individual developers for development of certain parcels.
To Be Continued…
Our work is always to be continued! If you have specific needs, please call City Hall at 901-867-2717, email me directly at email@example.com, or use our Lakeland Connect app to send in a service request! For news and events, always check lakelandtn.gov/calendar and lakelandtn.gov/news - as well as follow our official social media accounts. Until next week I remain
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager