City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

At the March 21st City Commission meeting the commission presented the master municipal clerk certificate to Debbie Cason, the Deputy City Clerk.

Proclamations were presented honoring Boys & Girls Club Week, Children’s Day, Margo McGill Day and Water Conservation Month.

Board member appointments were approved for Beverly O’Neill-Copeland and Bruce Lyon to the Lakeland Housing Authority. Neil Merrill was reappointed to the Code Enforcement Board. On the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals board, Arthur Chappell will serve an additional term and Greg Brower was appointed as an alternate.

It was decided that members of City Boards and Committees shall be appointed for terms of three years and may not serve more than two consecutive three-year terms; after having served two consecutive three-year terms, members may not be eligible for reappointment to the SAME board until after the expiration of three years. Members could be reappointed to a DIFFERENT board without a delay.

Rabbi Moshe Lazaros explained the Jewish Holiday of Purim and presented the commissioners with traditional food baskets.

Shannon Lanier, Executive Director of Lakeland Vision, introduced the launch of a web survey tool available through March 31st that allows participants to express their opinions on budgeting priorities for next year’s City of Lakeland fiscal budget.

The commission voted to schedule a public hearing regarding a request from St. Paul Lutheran Church and School reference a message sign permit application.

Conditional use to allow expansion of church facilities at property located south of east Parker Street, east of north Massachusetts Avenue was approved.

The commission also voted to allow 612,203 square feet of additional warehouse and distribution space for Publix Super Markets on property located at 2600 County Line Road.

Also approved was an amendment to an existing development agreement for Doherty Holdings LLC for Centinel Center at Mall Hill Drive.

The City Manager’s recommendation to enter into a contract with Best Fence Company in the amount of $265,412 for continued security improvements at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport for fencing and access controls to be funded with a 100% Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grant.

A resolution expanding membership of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board to include a representative of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership was approved.

Appointment of owners who are not city residents to the Dixieland and Mid-Town Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Boards was approved.

The Commission authorized the execution of a locally funded agreement with the FDOT for installation of irrigation and landscaping on U.S. 98 between W. 8th Street and Griffin Road.

Agreements with Key Government Finance, Inc. and Tampa Bay Trane for an Energy Efficiency Building Component Upgrade Project for LPD were approved.

A recommendation from the Utility Committee to lower the electric fuel charge by $2.00 to $50.50 per 1,000 kilowatt hours was passed by the City Commission.


The Lakeland City Commission voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers $2.00 per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after March 31st.  The new fuel charge is $50.50.  As of March 31st,  Lakeland Electric residential customers will pay $110.02 for 1,000 kWh of electricity.

After listening to a staff presentation at the March 21, 2011 Utility Committee Meeting, the Lakeland Electric Utility Committee recommended to decrease the current fuel charge.  The City Commission reconvened and approved the recommendation. 


Past                 New Rates – Effective March 31, 2011

Base Rate        $59.52                                     $59.52

Fuel Charge    $52.50                                     $50.50

TOTAL:            $112.02                                   $110.02

With the decrease in the fuel charge, Lakeland Electric rates will be ranked 4th lowest out of the 37 utilities serving Florida residential customers and one of the lowest ranked in Florida for large commercial customers. 

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through to customers. 

Visit for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.

Public Meeting Notice

The City of Lakeland has scheduled a second Public Meeting for the Beacon Road Multi-use Corridor Study.  The study is being conducted to evaluate potential options that include an extension of Beacon Road, a multi-use trail/greenway, a utility corridor, or a combination of these options.  The limits of the study are from the proposed Wabash Avenue Extension to Harden Boulevard, a distance of approximately one (1) mile.

The meeting will be conducted in an open house format beginning at 6:00 pm.  An audio/visual presentation will begin at approximately 6:30 pm.  Display boards and other visual aids depicting project concepts will be available throughout the meeting.  City staff and representatives from the Study Team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions.  The purpose of this meeting is to present the project concepts being evaluated and to seek public and stakeholder input.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011
    Legacy Christian Church Fellowship Hall, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm
    901 W. Beacon Rd
    Lakeland, FL 33803

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or family status.  Anyone requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or persons that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Mr. Ralph S. Bove, Jr., Study Team Project Manager, by telephone at (407) 896-0594, or by e-mail to at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.  Project-related information may also be obtained by contacting Mr. Bove or Mr. Greg James, City of Lakeland Project Manager at (863) 834-6040 or by email to

Lakeland Electric has announced a new feature on the website that allows customers to look up an approximate installation timeframe for their new Smart Meters.

“Residents throughout Lakeland are anticipating the arrival of their new Smart Meter,” said Randall Dotson, Project Manager for the Smart Grid Initiative. “The ‘My Rollout’ section on the website is a convenient way for our customers to learn which month their Smart Meter will be installed.”

Customers can now visit, type their street address or account number into the “My Rollout” box, and learn the estimated month and year their Smart Meter will be installed.”

Lakeland Electric will be replacing its current meters with Smart Meters during the remainder of 2011 and throughout 2012. In early summer, they will be launching a website that allows customers to monitor their energy usage on a real-time basis. The new Smart Meter combined with the upcoming customer usage information website gives consumers the tools to better manage their energy use. 

For information regarding the “Smarter Power. It’s in Your Hands” educational campaign or the Smart Meter installation and Smart Grid system, please contact Kevin Cook, Director of Communications for the City of Lakeland at 863-834-6264 or via e-mail at