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ELECTRIC RATES: City commissioners voted 5-2 (Justin Troller and Bill Read dissenting) to raise electric rates in order to cover rising costs. The typical homeowner will see an increase of $2.43 a month, Lakeland Electric says.
LEARN MORE: Lakeland Electric video | Detailed ordinance

LINCOLN SQUARE: City commissioners differed 4-3 on a contract for Rodda Construction to build up to 17 houses as part of a Community Redevelopment Agency project to improve a once-blighted block near Lincoln Avenue Academy (same link as the previous article). Average cost to the city for the 1,200-to-1,500-square-foot houses is around $205k, the CRA staff says, while purchasers selected by lottery are paying under $150k. Commissioners supporting the contract (Bill Mutz, Stephanie Madden, Justin Troller, Phillip Walker) generally agreed with staff that the city investment will pay off through a neighborhood that will attract new investment and a rising tax base. Opponents (Michael Dunn, Scott Franklin, Bill Read) felt either that the homes should be downgraded to keep costs lower or that the project will lead to gentrification.
LEARN MORE: Our previous article | Memorandum and contract | Watch the commission’s discussion (beginning at 1:20:15)

BS RANCH: The next stop in the legal battle between Polk County and the owners of an East Lakeland waste-to-soil plant is Florida’s governor and Cabinet. They take up the BS Ranch issue Aug. 14 at 9 a.m. The meeting will be live streamed on The Florida Channel.