City News Blog


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

The nation's top water safety and training organizations are joining forces to present The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) Tuesday, June 14, 2011 to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. On June 14th water parks, pools and other aquatic facilities around the globe will host local WLSL lessons simultaneously at 11 a.m. in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. City of Lakeland’s Aquatics staff will assist in the world record attempt during a swim lesson at Simpson Pool located at 1725 Martin Luther King Ave.

Swimming is a life-saving skill for children and a vital tool to prevent drowning, the second leading cause of unintended injury-related death for children ages 1-14. Research shows if a child doesn't learn to swim by the third grade, they likely never will. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ was created to serve as a platform to help local community aquatic facilities and different national, regional and state wide water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to tell this important story on a local and national level.

Individuals interested in participating in the lesson have until June 13th to register by contacting Aquatics at 863-834-3157. For more information on The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson or to find out how to get involved, please contact David Woodard at 863-834-3157.

At the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals meeting held May 3, 2011 the board approved a request for a two ft. variance at 714 South Blvd. to have a three ft. side setback in lieu of the required five ft. minimum so the owners can build a detached garage.  The Board tabled a request for a three ft. rear setback at 714 South Blvd.

The Board approved a 13 ft. street-side setback in lieu of the required minimum 20 ft. setback, a variance of 7 ft. in order to build a new house at 602 W. Patterson St.

A request for a three-and-a-half ft. variance was approved at 122 E. Parker St. to allow a six ft. high privacy fence 16.5 ft. from the front property line in lieu of the required 20 ft. minimum setback for fences over four ft. high.

In final action regarding 4777 Lakeland Highlands Rd., the board approved a 25 ft. variance to have a five ft. front yard setback in lieu of the required 30 ft.  The Board also approved a seven-and-a-half ft. variance to have a two-and-a-half ft. side yard setback in lieu of the required 10 ft. so the owners can build a pad for a generator and electrical panel.

At the City Commission meeting held on Monday, May 2nd, 2011, the Public Works Department made a presentation about the City’s efforts to comply with the American’s with Disabilities Act.

Beautification awards were presented to the owners of 4504 Sugartree Dr. E (residential) and 2015 E. Edgewood Dr. (Commercial)

Special Presentations: 

  • The Rotary Club presented a check for the Common Ground park fund.
  • The Detroit Tigers made a contribution to the Sunflower Playground fund.
  • The City Manager awarded Robert Legg, of the Public Works Department.
  • Employee Service Awards were presented to:

10 Years of Service
Christopher Anderson, Jeffery Burse, Tim Corbett, Richard Cox Jr., James Dehne, Cynthia Hicks ,Stephen Justice, Christopher Patterson, Amy Williams, Judy Austin, Herman Collins, Lisa Hodges, Pam Page, Luther Potter and Teno Surjada.

20 Years of Service

Dave Eldridge

30 Years of Service

Craig Heller,Walter Clayton and David Smith.

35 Years of Service

Randy Milling

Proclamations were presented for:

Electrical Safety Month, Historic Preservation Month, Letter Carriers Food Drive Day, National Public Works Week, National Salvation Army Week, Nurses Week and Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Month.

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance made a presentation about preventing teen pregnancy.

The City Commission Approved a voluntary annexation at Medulla Rd. and Hamilton Rd.

Also approved was the creation of a large demand, interruptible, electric service rate and a re-use water supply agreement in conjunction with a new private project that also includes the sale of City land on Combee Rd., North of the McIntosh power plant.

A public hearing was held on a Development Agreement for the Gateway Commons project, a retail shopping center planned for US 98 N, and Crevasse St. An additional public hearing will be held at the next City Commission meeting.

Assessments, for lot clearing activities, totaling over $21,000, were approved against : 1030 Neville Av., 1048 N. Lincoln Av., 1105 King Av., 1106 N. Vermont Av., 1127 N. Lake Av., 1134 E. Edgewood Dr., 1148 Oakhill St., 1207 E. Myrtle St., 1219 E. Myrtle St., 1374 Kathleen Rd., 1407 Emory Dr.,1428 Kathleen Rd., 1429 E. Elm Rd., 1502 Fairbanks St., 1761 W. Chase St., 1815 Cordova Cr. W., 1904 W. Walnut St., 1907 W. Walnut St., 2060 W. Elliott St., 210 Plum St., 212 W. 10th St., 2132 W. Lanier St.,214 W. 9th St.,2140 W. Lanier St., 220 Tarawa St., 220 Tarawa St., 2610 Mall Hill Dr., 2809 Berkeley Av., 3118 N. Florida Av., 315 Bassedena Cr. N., 318 Twin Lakes Cr., 336 W. 7th St., 340 Santiago Ct., 341 Santiago Ct., 403 W. Carver St., 409 Hennessee St., 414 N. Chestnut Rd., 4410 Selkirk Ln. E., 5020 Spanish Oaks Bl., 504 Carroll Av., 511 W. 5th St., 517 W. Carver St., 519 Emma St., 602 W. 6th St., 606 W. 6th St., 610 W. 6th St., 625 W. 9th St., 625 W. Robson St., 630 W. 12th St., 635 W. 8th St., 643 W. 11th St., 659 W. 10th St., 708 E. Myrtle St., 717 W. Memorial Bl., 718 W. 7th St., 721 W. Memorial Bl., 733 Hull St., 830 W. Crawford St., 832 W. Crawford St., 910 S. Missouri Av., 920 W. 2nd St., and 979 Lk Hollingsworth Dr.

Assessments at 3510 N. Florida Av. Were postponed to the next meeting.

Recommendations from the City Manager for the purchase of a backup generator, and ground handling equipment for the Lakeland Linder Airport, a new roof on the

Purchasing building and the helicopter insurance for the LPD helicopter were approved.

In Final Action, Public Hearings were announced for the next City Commission meeting on :

  • Temporary Employee Parking for Approximately 40 Vehicles on Vacant Property Located at 320 Cannon Street.
  • 715 North Lake Avenue to be Used as a 20-Bed Residential Behavioral Healthcare Treatment Facility
  • Public and Institutional land use at S.R.33 and Huron Way.
  • Small lot office zoning on at 3704 Kathleen Rd.
  • Zoning to Allow a Mixed Use Regional Shopping Center (Gateway Commons) Located Northwest of Interstate 4, East of North Road 98 and North of Crevasse Street.
  • And Proposed Changes to Sign Regulations to Allow Projecting Signs within the Downtown Commercial and Munn Park Historic Zoning Districts.

The City of Lakeland recently started a downtownstreet paving project. Unlike traditional paving methods that take days, weeks or months to prepare and pave the surface, the downtown project used a process called micro-paving.

Micro-surfacing is a mixture of polymer modified asphalt emulsion, aggregate and filler, and water that is mixed and applied in two passes with the specialized equipment. The first pass is designed to smooth out surface irregularities and fill ruts prior to application of the surface course. A micro-paved street can accept traffic within one hour after application under most conditions and that is a big advantage over traditional paving methods.

About a 20 City block area was resurfaced using the micro-paving process at a total cost of $169,000. The project was completed in days instead of weeks at half the cost of traditional paving methods. A typical micro-paved street has a life expectancy of 10 years in comparison to the 12 year life expectancy of traditional paving.

The downtown paving project was paid for using shared fuel tax revenues that are collected at the pump as part of the price for a gallon of gasoline. State law limits the use of those local taxes to transportation costs such as road construction.

The benefits of micro-paving are obvious because of the cost savings but even the old road aggregate that is scraped in preparation the new pavement is recycled into other uses by the City’s Division of Construction and Maintenance.

Mike Whigham, Manager of Construction and Maintenance shares with us the process and benefits of micro-paving in the video above.