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City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

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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Help improve the health and quality of life in Polk. 

Polk Vision wants your opinion on health and quality of life issues in Polk County. The results of this survey will be used to prioritize public health issues, identify resources for addressing them, and take action to create a healthier Polk.

Please consider taking this survey!    www.polkhealth2014.com


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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ROAD CONSTRUCTION NOTICE:
Hallam Drive Refsurfacing Project


Contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin Milling and Resurfacing Hallam Dr from Cleveland Heights to Lakeland Highlands Rd on July 21st. Roads will remain open but delays and detours are expected. The work is expected to take 2 weeks to complete.

For more information please contact Troy McCain, Pavement Coordinator at 863 834-3303.