Final vote: No Bolton annexation

NOT-APPROVED-stampThe Lakeland city board took the official vote on June 12: Bolton’s annexation is now off the table. No analysis of all or part of the Bolton Rural Reserve made annexation a profitable action for the city to take at this time.

One citizen, Nancy Brannon of Godwin Road, spoke for annexation dissenters before the vote.

“Residents of this area have come before your body several times, asking you not to annex this area of Shelby County. In fact, 10 times more residents have petitioned you not to annex than have petitioned you to annex.”

Other board actions

In other business, the board took these actions:

  • The board went on the record, stating their intent to change the permit fee for future fireworks displays, offering reduced-cost or no-fee permits for non-profit organizations hosting such events and charging heftier fees to for-profit organizations. With that in mind, they approved waiving a $500 fee this year for a private fireworks event organized by a non-profit organization. The vote was three to one, with Commissioner Gene Torrey dissenting. Commissioner Clark Plunk was absent.
  • The fire report for Lakeland during the month of May included 47 municipal aid calls and 13 fire-related calls.
  • The board agreed to provide notice to the state that they will not be participating in the state insurance plan. Their intent is to approve a new health insurance plan at an upcoming meeting. It will save money for employees while offering a reduced-cost plan for the city. The primary objection some employees had for the coverage is that the city does not pay for the costlier family coverage for employees’ spouses and/or children. City Manager Chris Thomas said it’s a great plan and has been adequately communicated to all employees. Even if all employees choose the most expensive plan, it will save the city about $18,000 annually.
  • The board approved a change to the grant process the city is following to develop city park facilities on a 100-acre property the city already owns. The city is changing from a $250,000 grant for land acquisition to a $250,000 land development grant that allows them to count the property’s value as the city’s contribution to the project.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to