We are thankful for a week ahead of relief from the excessive heat of last week - none more thankful than our dedicated field workers who endure the elements day in and day out to serve this great City of Lakeland.
This week's update includes our usual look back at last week and look ahead to this week (spoiler alert: there are no public meetings this week), as well as other important information and a reminder again on how to sign up for notifications from our website lakelandtn.gov - so let's get to it!
A Look Back at Last Week
Industrial Development Board of the City of Lakeland, Tennessee
Last week, the IDB met on Thursday night. You can click the hyperlink in the previous sentence, or visit lakelandtn.gov/agendas any time for all meeting agendas, recordings, documents, and minutes. With four of the seven IDB directors in attendance, as well as Mayor Roman, the IDB Attorney, City Planning Director, and myself, the business of the meeting was conducted efficiently and quickly, and in under a half hour! Here's a look at the business of the IDB last week:
- An agreement with A2H to continue to provide construction consultant services on the Lakeland Commons project, on behalf of the IDB, was extended an additional two years and approved unanimously by the IDB directors. The cost of this contract will be repaid, ultimately, from tax increment finance revenues received into the project.
- Speaking of tax increment finance (TIF), the IDB's TIF program policies and procedures were modified by unanimous vote to update the formal name of the body in the policies.
- The final item of business was a discussion of the current status of The Lake District TIF (as TIF seemed to be the topic of the night), with IDB Attorney Al Bright providing an update to the directors on where things stand. No action is needed at this time by the IDB, and Mr. Bright and I assured the directors that we would communicate updates as they occur.
Remembering Mayor Beverle Rivera
Many of you may know of Beverle Rivera as only a road name in Lakeland; however, Mayor Beverle Rivera was the first mayor of incorporated Lakeland, Tennessee, and served in that role from the City's inception through 1989. We recently learned of Mayor Rivera's passing at the age of 95, and in honor of her wishes, her son Gilbert Rivera stopped by City Hall last week to present to our current Mayor Josh Roman some Lakeland items his mother wished left to the City, including the first flag flown by Lakeland as a City! Mayor Rivera's full obituary can be viewed here.
Mayor Josh Roman (L) and Gilbert Rivera (R)
Lakeland Possession of EconoLodge Site
As has been previously reported, the City of Lakeland and Quantum Hotels, LLC, had mediated and agreed upon a date of September 1st for the City to take possession of the EconoLodge site, with a consent order filed with the court stating the same. After that, however, the current owners filed a motion for a hearing to delay the possession date, and that hearing was last Friday. During the hearing, it soon became clear to us that should we not reach an agreement, the Judge would call for further hearings for the presentation of more evidence, which motivated us to come to an agreement - and we did. The result is that the City will now take possession of the site at 5pm on Thursday, September 7th, allowing Quantum Hotels, LLC, additional time to remove and store interior contents.
A Look Ahead to This Week
If you read the summary and introduction, you already know - there are no public meetings scheduled for this week. In the mean time, City Staff continue to work toward compiling business and agenda items for our next public meeting, which is a Board of Commissioners meeting next week on September 7th, as the BOC returns to twice-monthly business meetings.
Other Important Information
You have value. You have worth. Your thoughts, concerns, and needs matter. What information is more important than that? For some - none! That being said, there are a few other things we need to communicate.
Pavement Preservation Project
Beginning September 6th, the City's pavement preservation project will be taking place in Plantation Hills, as well as some warranty work being done in The Grove related to the preservation project from 2021. These projects are designed to increase the life span of streets and roadways, and are a part of the City's overall road maintenance program.
Residents in Plantation Hills will receive post cards telling of the plans and dates. This schedule is also provided to and coordinated with emergency management services, the Lakeland School System, and the U.S. Postal Service. Only sections of the roads will be closed at any given time, and these closures are from 7am until 7pm on the scheduled date, pending reschedules due to weather. The timing is crucial to the project, as the contractor can complete a coat a day with our current humidity and tree canopy (in other words, extending the schedule may result in a failed application). The City's trash collection service will be on schedule during the work, picking up these areas at 7am on the scheduled dates. For any other questions or concerns, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, even as we apologize in advance for the interruption this service may cause.
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Advisory Board
As reported last week, the CAB District 1 seat is currently open, as the former volunteer did not seek reappointment to the body. If you are a Lakeland resident living north of the railway track in Lakeland, you are eligible to fill this seat and represent north Lakeland on the CAB! To apply, simply complete the online volunteer application available on our website, and I will follow up with you and present the application for BOC approval and appointment.
The "Notify Me" function beside any news article or calendar item on lakelandtn.gov is a great place to manage your email notifications of additions to news, alerts, or calendar items on the City's website, and does not require an account to be created. Simply click, enter your email, and select which areas you wish to subscribe to.
However, the most effective way to be notified immediately when a new meeting agenda is posted, is to subscribe to the meeting agendas at lakelandtn.gov/agendas - this can be done once signed in with the simple, free account mentioned above.
From lakelandtn.gov/agendas - click on the "SUBSCRIPTIONS" button:
From the screen that appears, you then select which of the City's Board and Commissions you'd like to receive notifications related to:
Whether it is a public notice, an agenda, or minutes related to that board - you'll be notified and always up to date.
City Staff Motto
Last week, I held an "all hands" staff meeting at City Hall, and rolled out our new "motto" as Lakeland City Staff and servants in the business of serving residents and getting results. Our new motto, "We Get Things Done", summarizes what my focus has been as City Manager from day one - results. We are all monitored based on the results of our efforts, and our effectiveness at getting things done. And now - by sharing this with you all - you are a part of the network holding us all accountable for these results, as we continue to work to get things done!
To Be Continued...
As always, please reach out to me any time at email@example.com with questions, concerns, ideas, and improvements and I will ensure we are all doing what we can to get things done!
In Your Service,
Michael Walker, City Manager