Lakeland’s city, school boards come together on construction issue

New-LSS-logo-web-smallThe city of Lakeland and its municipal school district are working together to manage roadwork related to the construction and operation of Lakeland Middle Preparatory School.

The school district is negotiating with property owners for fewer than two acres of land where temporary access is needed during construction, and slivers of land are also needed to build turning lanes for smooth, efficient and fast access to the school when it opens its doors in the fall of 2017. Although negotiations are going well, Superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell secured the board’s approval for more aggressive measures if the discussions don’t resolve the issue. He emphasized that he doesn’t expect to have to use eminent domain but wanted to alert the board and secure permission to proceed if it is needed.

At an Aug. 11 meeting, the city board backed up the school board’s agenda by authorizing the mayor to appoint a board of appraisers to fix a fair cash valuation for the property.

RESOLUTION authorizing the Mayor to appoint a Board of Appraisers to fix a fair cash valuation for certain property associated with the Lakeland Middle Preparatory School construction. Sponsored by City Attorney

The city and school district also are teaming up to split the costs for new software that both sides are excited to acquire. It gives both an efficient and consolidated approach to financial and employee management.

At its Aug. 11 meeting, the board authorized city manager Jim Atkinson to enter an agreement with Skyward for Business Suite Software. Both the city and the Lakeland School System intend to implement the software in the current 2017 fiscal year but will not pay implementation fees or annual costs until the 2018 fiscal year.

The cost for the first year is expected to be a total of $46,350 with a recurring annual cost of $8,750 in the following years.

In other business at the Aug. 11 meeting, the city board:

  • Approved extending the Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) and sewer plan for the Arcadia Planned Development.
  • Indefinitely postponedĀ the PDP and sewer plan for the Equestria Planned Development.
  • Adopted a city hall improvement plan.
  • Established the permit process for the commercial door-to-door solicitations. The city has a policy that requires vendors to get a permit and avoid cold calls to homes on a “Do Not Knock” list maintained by the city. This measure formalizes what is involved in obtaining such a permit.