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LAKELAND, FL (August 30, 2022) – The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce Valerie Ferrell as CRA Manager, effective Monday, September 12th.   As CRA Manager, Ferrell will oversee the operations and manage the Dixieland, Downtown and Midtown community redevelopment areas.

Lakeland’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a Division of the Community and Economic Development Department that focuses on areas that need attention, which is provided though renovated buildings, business opportunities, affordable housing, better infrastructure, and unique art and cultural offerings. The CRA is comprised of three districts (Dixieland, Downtown and Midtown) each contain their own redevelopment plan which outlines the specific district’s needs and the types of projects the CRA will undertake in each district.

Jason Willey, Assistant Director of Economic Development/Community and Economic Development Department said, “The CRA Manager is an important position that adds great value to Lakeland.  Valerie brings a unique skillset and a vast knowledge of Florida redevelopment practices to our CRA team.  I am very excited to have Valerie on board and look forward to the future of the CRA with her at the helm.”

Ferrell is an experienced public servant specializing in community and economic development with a focus on redevelopment agencies and results-oriented management. She has a record of success in developing innovative community-based solutions and implementing efficient systems. Ferrell excels at working collaboratively with a wide range of partners to achieve common goals. 

Her professional experience includes serving as Community Development Director at the City of Lake Alfred and Urban Development Manager at the City of Tampa for four of its eight CRAs including Downtown, Channel District, Tampa Heights Riverfront and Central Park.  Currently, she is the Senior Redevelopment Coordinator for Hillsborough County where she is responsible for managing the County’s targeted redevelopment incentive programs. Ferrell previously worked for the City of Lakeland as a CRA Project Manager from 2017 to 2019.

Ferrell said, “I am thrilled to be returning to Lakeland and joining some of my former colleagues in the ongoing work that makes this community so highly coveted for businesses, families and increasing investment. The Central Florida region is experiencing unprecedented growth, and that also brings many challenges that I am eager to work closely with staff, community partners and all stakeholders toward a vision of Lakeland that we all know and love.”

CRA’s raise funds through tax increment financing. This tool is used to leverage public funds to promote private sector activity in the targeted area. The dollar value of all real property in the Community Redevelopment Area is determined as of a fixed date, also known as the “frozen value.” Taxing authorities, which contribute to the tax increment, continue to receive property tax revenues based on the frozen value. These frozen value revenues are available for general government purposes. However, any tax revenues from increases in real property value, referred to as “increment,” are dedicated to the redevelopment area.

Ferrell has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Administration from Polk State College and Certifications in Community Real Estate Development and Redevelopment. Ferrell lives in Lakeland with her son. She enjoys spending time with family and loved ones.  Ferrell is an avid DIYer, loves to paint, and can be found most weekends attending her son’s soccer games.  As CRA Manager, Ferrell will receive an annual salary of $91,948.

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