Lakeland Rethinking Bolton Annexation

(Lakeland, TN) A study commissioned by Lakeland found it would cost too much money to annex all of the Bolton area.

Lakeland leaders were looking at annexing 32 square miles from the Bolton community.

The area is designated a rural reserve area, not part of Lakeland’s annexation reserve.

Instead, the study recommended investigating annexing the area closest to Bolton, not the more rural area.

Most of the opposition to the proposed annexation has come from those rural areas. That group met at Lakeland City Hall tonight to weigh in on any decision the council made.

“I can’t see anything we get out of it, no services ,just raise our taxes,” said Michael Taube, a county resident.

Some of the residents fear they could be forced to become a part of Lakeland.

It’s a fear County Commissioner Chris Thomas said won’t matter if they’re in the majority.

Whoever the city chooses to annex will get to vote on the issue.

Still, those opposed  made it clear they don’t want to take any chances.

“We don’t want to be divided, and we don’t more taxes, said Donald Evans, another county resident.

The new study will examine annexing an area closer to Lakeland city limits, and leaving those in the rural area alone.

They are still concerned the annexation issue has a lot to do with getting more students for the Lakeland School District.

“Those closest to our boundaries, that have kids in school we want to look at giving them one last option,” said Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker.

County residents worry the city may attempt to gain control of Bolton High School and they could wind up having to send their kids elsewhere.

Board members voted unanimously to study annexing the smaller area and reporting back in 90 days.

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