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SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE LAKELAND ELECTRIC CUSTOMER ACADEMY
CLASS STARTS SEPTEMBER 9TH


The Lakeland Electric Customer Academy is a free, interactive informational program that allows you, our customer, the opportunity to gain insight into your community-owned electric utility and discuss energy industry “hot topics” with subject matter experts.  

The academy will consist of six (6),  two-hour evening sessions, with sessions held on every other Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.  Refreshments will be served prior to each session between 5:30-6:00 p.m. Participants are highly encouraged to attend all six sessions to get the most from the program.  Class size is limited to the first thirty (30) Lakeland Electric customers.

 Academy Topics include:

  • Explanation of Electricity—from generation to billing
  • Power Plant and Substation Tours
  • Accessing your “Smart Meter” information on the web
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Utility financials and rate structures

Sign Up Online at bit.ly/1tiXhQ9

 


SCAM ALERT

INDIVIDUALS IMPERSONATING LAKELAND ELECTRIC EMPLOYEES REQUESTING OVER THE PHONE PAYMENT


LAKELAND, FL (August 18, 2014) — Lakeland Electric customers beware of a current scam that involves an individual who calls and acts as if he is a representative of Lakeland Electric.  The scammers ultimately demand that a business provide some type of electronic payment over the phone in order to avoid a disruption in their service.

 

The caller does have a sophisticated piece of equipment that alters the caller ID.  The calls look as if they are coming from 863-834-9535 but the calls are actually coming from 305-514-9961. In all three of the known scam cases that have been reported, the caller had the victim’s business account number.  Sergeant Terri Smith with the Lakeland Police Department said, “The most concerning thing about these recent scams is the use of a City of Lakeland telephone number even though it is a false number. This may confuse some of our elderly and make them more vulnerable to these scams.” Smith said, "There are many ways that City of Lakeland account numbers can be obtained by scammers: by request because account names and numbers are considered public information; through mail theft; and by going through garbage and culling out discarded bills."

 

Basic Tips to Avoid Scams

·      DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts. Make sure you meet people in a public and secure place, such as your local police department lobby.

·      NEVER AGREE TO PURCHASE GIFT CARDS, GREEN DOT CARD, OR MONEY PACK CARDS and give the card numbers to someone over the telephone.

·      NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service – if a business or unknown person asks then they are likely a scammers.

·      FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON—BANKS WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later. Contact your bank and work with them to establish whether or not a money order or check is fraudulent before you spend it or give anyone property in return for it.

·      NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.). If you get a call from your bank asking for anything like this, hang up and call your bank independently to verify information.

 

Lakeland Electric would never call a customer and demand a bankcard, prepaid credit card or even a retail card such as a prepaid Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS card.  Lakeland Electric customers are encouraged to sign up for eServices by visitingwww.lakelandelectric.com.  Through eServices, customers can monitor their energy usage, receive text notifications and pay their utility bill via a secure network connection.  Customers are encouraged to call a real representative at Lakeland Electric (863-834-9535) if they have been involved in a possible scam by someone claiming to be a Lakeland Electric employee.


 


11th Annual Lakeland Cardboard Boat Challenge
and Lakes Festival on Lake Hollingsworth



Lakes Education/Action Drive (LE/AD), in partnership with Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland and Lakeland Vision present Lakeland’s 11th Annual Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lakes Festival on Saturday, September 13, from 8:00 a.m. – noon at the Lake Hollingsworth boat ramp (race starts at 10 a.m.). This event is designed to help raise public awareness about our lakes and the precious resources we have in our area.  Environmental exhibitors will provide fun activities for children and supply information on area lakes and water resources. Entertainment will be the Cardboard Boat Challenge!

The challenge will be to design, construct and race a boat made of cardboard around a marked course in Lake Hollingsworth. We know what you’re thinking, but a cardboard boat really can float if you construct it wisely! Teams must have a minimum of four and maximum of 10 people, but only two will set sail in the boat. Race teams will be in four divisions: community/corporate, elementary/middle school-age youth, high school-age youth and family. First, second and third-place awards will be given in each race division. The Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lake Festival is a great opportunity for youth groups, scouts, civic clubs, families and businesses to have fun together while enjoying our beautiful lake. For the fourth year now we will have the “Pre-Built” category. Teams construct their boats out of corrugated cardboard in advance and race around the designated course. Judging will be for “People’s Choice” and speed. Pre-Built will be limited to 8 teams. 

Registration is $35 per team if received by August 31, 2014. After August 31, registration is $40 per team. Registration fee includes all tools and materials needed to construct boats (in on-site building only) and two commemorative t-shirts. Additional shirts will be available to purchase on the day of the event. To register or for more information, contact the City of Lakeland Lakes & Stormwater Division at (863) 834-8429 or LE/AD at (863) 221-5323. Register now because the race is limited to 35 teams! If space is available, registration will be available on race day on a first come/first served basis.  Registration forms are available at www.le-ad.org.

Event supporters include the Lakes Education/Action Drive, Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Vision, AMEC, MaxPak, Lakeland Family YMCA, Crowder Brothers – Ace Hardware, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rita’s Italian Ice, Ledger Media Group, and Southwest Florida Water Management District.  Even if you don’t participate in the boat challenge, come watch the boat race and cheer on your favorite team!

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DETROIT TIGERS AND THE CITY OF LAKELAND REACH TERMS FOR SUCCESSOR AGREEMENT
LONGEST RUNNING SPRING TRAINING RELATIONSHIP IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CONTINUES

LAKELAND, FL (July 18, 2014) -- The City of Lakeland and the Detroit Tigers have reached agreement on the terms and conditions that will be included in a contract that will extend the City’s relationship with the organization another 20 years.  The current contract signed in 2000 expires December 31, 2016.  The new contract will solidify the Detroit Tigers continuing their Spring Training, their Class A Minor League operations with the Flying Tigers and their rehabilitative program at Joker Marchant Stadium and the TigerTown Complex through 2036.

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “The parties approached the negotiations with a win-win attitude and I am very pleased that both the City and the Tigers were able to accomplish our respective desired outcomes.  We have developed a package that is cost effective for the City and continues to support the estimated $45 million in economic benefits associated with Spring Training and additional $18 million in economic impacts from the Flying Tigers to our community.  In return, the Tigers will be provided contemporary facilities designed to enhance player development and improve the fan experience so it will allow them to remain competitive with their counterparts in Major League Baseball. 

In anticipation of a new agreement, the parties have been involved in a process over the last two years that included tours of all the spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona to view best practice designs and to better understand the standards that are expected at current MLB facilities. The tours were followed up with a critical evaluation of the current configuration of Joker Marchant Stadium and the Tigertown Complex to identify the areas that would require improvements to allow the Tigers and the City to have facilities reflective of the market required for another 20 – 30 year contract period.  

“The Detroit Tigers are thrilled this new agreement will ensure the ball club will maintain its winter home in the City of Lakeland for an unprecedented 100 years,” said David Dombrowski, Tigers President, CEO and General Manager. “We are thankful and appreciative of the long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida that in terms of years is second to none in all of Major League Baseball. 

The proposed design of the complex calls for separate Major and Minor League clubhouses that will be constructed; improved and realigned seating areas including additional shading; a 360 degree walk around layout to allow fans to be in constant view of the game; upgraded concession and new vending areas; expanded press box facilities in response to growing media interest with international players; a new artificial field surface in the minor league complex; new team cafeteria equipment; various improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation; and overall improved layout and security features consistent with MLB security measures.

Melony Bell, Chair of the Polk County Tourist Development Council said, “Polk County has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Detroit Tigers for 78 years. With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming them back for another 20 years. According to the Florida Sports Foundation, the annual economic impact of the average Major League Baseball spring training operation in Florida is $47 million. We feel strongly that the Tigers have far more impact than that. Whether a Tigers fan chooses to come to Polk County for a month, or just drive to Lakeland for a day of baseball, all of our residents benefit from sales generated when these tourists are here.” 

R. Todd Danzler, Chairman of the Polk Board of County Commissioners said, “This announcement is great news for Polk County. We appreciate the Detroit Tigers’ long-term commitment to Lakeland. The Tigers bring more than just spring baseball to the county. Their presence through their minor league affiliate, the Lakeland Flying Tigers and other uses of the ballpark bring crowds to Joker Marchant Stadium year round. Undoubtedly, our hotels, rental homes, restaurants and other recreational facilities benefit during the spring season when the Tigers are in our community.”

Specifics of the agreement include the following terms: 

•       A total of $37 million will be available for capital improvements to the Joker Marchant Stadium and Tigertown Complex, to be completed and ready for occupancy by the Tigers in January 2017.  The City contemplates a bond issue for the capital costs that will be amortized from the following sources:

–      The State of Florida, through the Spring Training Retention Program will fund $1 million per year for 20 years.

–      The Polk County Tourist Development Council will fund an income stream capable of amortizing a total of $14,560,000, payable over 20 years, or 39.4% of project costs, with total project costs not to exceed $37 million.

–      The Tigers will provide funding through the payment of $530,000 per year to the City for 20 years, with such payments taking the form of rent, coupled with a management services fee, the latter of which includes CPI adjustments every five years.

–      The City will fund an estimated $190,000 per year for 20 years. 

Dombrowski said, “We believe the extensive enhancements to TigerTown will offer the loyal and passionate fans in Lakeland and the legions of Tigers fans that travel to Florida with a one-of-a-kind Spring Training experience. Lakeland plays a significant role year-round in the Tigers baseball operations and the planned renovations will provide the players with a state-of-the-art development and rehabilitation facility, certain to be amongst the best in all of baseball.”

Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We truly appreciate the partnerships with the Detroit Tigers, the State of Florida, the Central Florida Tourist and Development Council, and the City Commission for their financial support for the successor agreement.  I would also like to thank our local legislative delegation, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, and local baseball supporters John and Becky Rodda, Robert Puterbaugh and others who helped the City in our efforts to amend the State's Spring Training Retention Bill which was a critical component in our negotiations.”

“Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers, the City of Lakeland and Polk County for extending the longest spring training relationship between a community and a Major League Baseball team," said Florida Sports Foundation President John Webb.  "This lease extension is a salute to the professionalism of all parties involved and the heritage and tradition both have enjoyed for almost eight decades.  This agreement will continue their partnership to over 100 years of a mutually beneficial relationship.  This unmatched partnership is a good example of Florida's strong sports industry and ensures Major League Baseball Spring Training will remain in the area for future generations to enjoy."

 

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