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The latest happenings in your city government.


LAKELAND, FL (November 5, 2012) -- The Lakeland City Commission voted unanimously 7-0 in favor of a Smart Meter opt-out program for Lakeland Electric.  The program will allow Lakeland Electric customers to choose between a smart meter and a digital meter that must be read manually. 

Smart Meters offer customers added benefits over analog or digital meters.  With a Smart Meter customers can receive energy alerts, view daily energy use and smart meters automatically report power outages.  Smart Meter customers can participate in energy management by monitoring usage through their very own web portal.  Lakeland Electric customers can log onto www.mysmarterpower.com to view their daily energy usage.

Those customers wanting to opt-out of the Smart Meter program can do so by calling Lakeland Electric customer service at 863/834-9535.  There will be a $16.25/month charge for those customers who choose to opt-out because of the dedicated need to have meters read manually each month.  Smart Meters automatically report consumption so manual meter reads aren’t necessary.   The $16.25 monthly charge goes into effect March 1, 2013 for those who choose the opt-out program.  There is also a $65 dollar one-time meter replacement fee to change out a Smart Meter with a digital meter as part of the opt-out program.  This fee is waived until March 1, 2013.

Lakeland Electric has already installed over 115,000 Smart Meters to date and there will be over 120,000 installed by the end of December 2012 when the system is fully deployed. Installation of the new meters started March 2, 2011 as the first step in the overall Smart Grid initiative. The Smart Grid is the evolution of the nation’s utility grid to make it more effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of utility customers and the growing demands placed on the nation’s power industry. Lakeland Electric was one of 100 utility companies to be chosen to integrate into the Smart Grid through funding by a federal grant.

Lakeland Electric is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida.  The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889.  Today, power is generated at Lakeland Electric’s two primary base load plant sites, the 937-megawatt McIntosh Power Plants and the 124-megawatt Larsen Power Plant. Lakeland Electric’s total generation capacity is about 1,100 megawatts.  For more information on Lakeland Electric’s Smart Meter program please visitwww.plugintosmart.com.

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A Halloween costume will not disguise your drunk or drug impaired driving. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - one every 51 minutes.

Officers will increase their patrols to specifically look for drunk drivers on our roadways. The stepped up enforcement runs through Sunday, November 4th.

Halloween night is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 48 percent of highway deaths nationwide on Halloween night in 2010 involved a drunk driver.

The Lakeland Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween celebration:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober, ‘non drinking’ driver.
  • If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to report drunk drivers, Call 911.
  • And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. 

The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 9th for the 32nd Annual Swan Roundup. Crews will be catching and herding the swans as the initial part of their annual veterinary check-up.The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for inoculations and wellness examinations that will start Wednesday morning, October 10th at 7:30 a.m. with Patricia Mattson, DVM.

The Annual Swan Round-Up allows Lakeland's Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population. On Wednesday morning, each swan will be given a wellness examination by veterinarian Patricia Mattson. They will also be weighed, vaccinated, and given a microchip if necessary so their health can be easily tracked.

The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in 1957. The swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original "Swanvet" W.G. Gardner. As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began. This practice started in 1980 and has continued every year since then.

Dr. Mattson has almost 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She the owner of Companion Animal Hospital a full service facility that provides general medical care, preventive medical care, vaccinations, health certificates, caesarean section, diagnostic services, on-site kennel, on-site laboratory testing, flea control, dietary counseling, spay/neuter, declawing, radiology, general surgery, dentistry, emergency services, microchipping, pharmacy services and boarding.


Lakeland Electric will celebrate Public Power Week during October 7-13, 2012 along with more than 2,000 other electric utilities that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 46 million Americans. 

“Public Power Week is a chance for Lakeland Electric to articulate why public power works in Lakeland.  We are absolutely dedicated to providing a high level of service at affordable rates,” said Joel Ivy, Lakeland Electric’s General Manager.

Public Power Week is an annual event that takes place throughout the nation.  It is sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C.  APPA is the service organization for community and state-owned electric utilities.

“We are proud to have served the customers of Lakeland Electric for over 100 years,” Ivy said.  “Lakeland Electric contributes to the area’s economic vitality.  We understand how critical electricity is for our customers and we strive to find better ways to deliver it efficiently, reliably, safely and with special attention to the environment,”

Lakeland Electric is Florida’s third-largest public power utility and it provides electricity to more than 120,000 customers. Power is generated at Lakeland Electric’s two main power plants, the 941-megawatt McIntosh Power Plant and the 110-megawatt Larsen Power Plant. The utility also operates a group of diesel unit’s capable of producing up to 50- megawatts for emergency purposes.