By Alan Johnson, IDB/EDC member
The Industrial Development Board (IDB) met briefly Thursday night (2.22.18) to review a resolution to repeal Resolution 2017/12.01 authorizing the issuance of federally tax-exempt bonds to finance the Lakeland High School project. The transaction contemplated in the resolution was not consummated prior to December 31, 2017. Changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act regarding refinancing of municipal debt, (which went into effect 1/1/2018), render the proposed financing transaction unexecutable. Therefore, the Resolution 2017/12.01 was repealed by unanimous vote.
Following the IDB meeting, the Economic Development Commission’s meeting (EDC) opened with updates from Cory Brady, City planning director. Highlights include:
- Slower than expected permitting and construction progress in January due to weather.
- The new Pet Hospitals location is nearing completion.
- The Mobile Gas Station landscape plan has been approved and lighting plan is under review.
- A plan for exterior renovation and painting of the Motel 6 is being finalized for review.
- Demolition of the old Outlet Mall remains ahead of schedule.
- Cory Brady, Jim Atkinson, city manager, and Dexter Muller (development consultant for the City) are working diligently on several options to provide sewer services for new development along the north side of U.S. Highway 64. There is currently a parcel of land between the Waffle House and existing Pet Hospitals that is under contract for development and other parcels that are under consideration for development. The City of Memphis, which currently services this area, has posted a 6-12 month moratorium on new connections, so other options are being reviewed. A suitable solution is expected to come to fruition soon.
Link to EDC agenda: https://tn-lakeland.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/749
The rest of the meeting was spent discussing the approved City of Lakeland Marketing Plan. Several initiatives have already been established including rebranding efforts, the construction of Gateway Signs, the production of a promotional video, the construction of a microsite dedicated to economic development (www.comediscoverlakeland.com), the development of marketing collaterals, and the hiring of an economic development specialist. Next steps are as follows:
- Soliciting input from various stakeholders regarding the outstanding initiatives and additional ideas
- Prioritizing the initiatives
- Establishing timelines for each initiative
- Assigning champions and/or committees for each initiative
- Establishing a marketing budget. (Funds for promoting the City are provided annually from EDGE (Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine) grants and do not involve City of Lakeland funds. The majority of the marketing initiatives are accomplished by volunteer committees, City employees, and/or the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.)
There was also discussion regarding ideas for improved coordination of efforts and communication between the Economic Development Commission, the Chamber and the City.
Posted below are the four pages of a marketing brochure for the City.