I was disappointed this week to read that the Lakeland City Commission is considering a move that would no longer require new development to pay its fair share.
The proposal, which will be up for discussion next Monday, involves approving cut-rate impact fees which will reduce the city’s revenues to deal with growth-related infrastructure by millions of dollars.
This is significant because for many years Lakeland was the leader in Polk County in adopting fiscally sound impact fee schedules that allowed the city to deal with growth responsibly, often in sharp contrast with the Polk County Commission, which did not.
The best example is Lakeland Highlands Road. Lakeland was able to widen the northern section years before Polk County widened the southern section.
Dealing with growth costs money. There’s no free lunch or shouldn’t be.
Maybe the taxpayers will show up Monday and give Lakeland commissioners some input.