During its regular work session tonight (2.2.17) the BOC (Board of Commissioners) discussed a contract with Pinnacle Planning Advisors to be the City’s consultant on economic development.
The City would pay Dexter Muller with Pinnacle up to $18,000 for the remainder of this fiscal year with a cap of $36,000 for the next fiscal year.
City Manager Jim Atkinson said initially the City was looking for an economic development specialist. “But this turns out for the better,” he said. “With Dexter Muller (at Pinnacle), we can go further than expected.”
Addressing the BOC, Mr. Muller said it would be important to build a database utilizing the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and the University of Memphis. He also suggested working with those who have property in the City and with business the City wants to have. “You need a recruitment strategy on the types of business you want to have,” he said. Lastly he noted he would work with the EDC (Economic Development Commission) and the BOC to be poised when a business expresses interest in the City. “It’s better to set your policy in advance,” he said.
The resolution to contract with Pinnacle went to the consent agenda.
In his monthly report, Mr. Atkinson said he met with Chuck Thomas who is a West Tennessee director for AT&T. Citizens in the Monroe Road area of Lakeland have complained of poor or non-existent internet service at their homes. Although the City cannot control services from an internet company, Mr. Atkinson said he is hopeful there will be results for those residents as well as many more in other sections of the City.
A slide (attached to this story) shows the steps Mr. Thomas is taking to improve services. Mr. Atkinson said Comcast has been far less available. Commissioner Clark Plunk asked if the internet project would cost the City any money. “At this point, there will be no funding from the City,” said Mr. Atkinson.
Another report from Mr. Atkinson listed the amount of litter collected in January and the cost to remove it:
$3,259 in labor and equipment
“We are reacting to a lack of City pride,” said Mr. Atkinson. He noted the litter collection includes the typical fast food bags, straws, tires and even a couch. “It is an unending problem,” he said.
Mr. Atkinson also reported on the new recycling schedule which starts next week, the branding effort through EDC and results from resident Jim Jones and his Matterport camera, which provided a 360° view of the IH Clubhouse.
Sgt. Reginald Reid from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office gave the monthly crime report and said nothing particularly stood out. He reported 32 incidents including a burglary at the Dollar General Store. Commissioner Michele Dial asked wasn’t that store in Memphis. Sgt. Reid replied it was. Mrs. Dial asked if that incident could be removed from the list of crimes in Lakeland. Among the 32 incidents were six thefts from motor vehicles and four other thefts. Sgt. Reid said the shooting last week in Stonebridge is still being investigated and was a family dispute.
Commissioner Clark Plunk said the MPC (Municipal Planning Commission) lost one of its members when Phil Pilcher died last month. Mayor Wyatt Bunker said Mr. Pilcher was always willing to help with Lakeland and could be considered Mr. Lakeland.
With Mr. Pilcher’s death and Mr. Wright’s selection to the BOC (at a special meeting Feb. 2), there are now vacancies on the MPS and EDC. Mayor Bunker said he has a candidate for the MPC and Vice Mayor Josh Roman suggested Kurt Wagner could be appointed to the EDC. (Mr. Wagner applied for that position last month for a different vacancy.)
Tom Hathaway who lives on Monroe Drive spoke to the BOC about the progress on the Factory Outlet Mall property (proposed to be The Lake District); roads and bike lanes in his neighborhood; and AT&T internet service. He noted an elderly woman in his neighborhood believed she was getting the $90 bundle package from AT&T but instead was billed $900 the first month and then $1,300 the second month.
A number of items were moved to the consent agenda besides the Pinnacle contract:
- Approval of an EDC marketing plan
- Change order #2 for fiscal year 2017 street paving
- A contract for Woodbridge drainage improvements
- A contract for Scotts Creek wastewater treatment plant building improvements
- A contract for a house demolition in north Lakeland because of continued flooding
Link to the agenda with all resolutions: http://tn-lakeland.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/627
The final item on the agenda was a five-minute orientation to City business for the new commissioner.
… photos by Jim Willis