City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

At the City Commission meeting held Tuesday, July 5, 2011 Airport Director Gene Conrad delivered an update on commercial and general aviation activities.

Beautification awards were presented to: 817 Mississippi Ave. owner Anthony Guinn for his residence and the commercial category went to Boring Business Equipment located at 950 E. Main St.

Former City Commissioner, Jim Verplanck, LSCI President Honored Harrison School of the Arts Graduate Russell Mank. Mank was the National Grand Prize Winner in the Sister Cities International 2011 Young Artists Showcase.

Employee service awards were presented to Richard Carroll, Gary Edwards, Kathie Heltzel and Anita Wells for 10 years of service.

Phillip Copeland was recognized for 20 years of service.

Keith Churchill, Bambi Smith, and James Studiale were acknowledged for 25 years.

Nina Driggers and Tamra Riley were recognized for 30 years and Cynthia Webb for 40 years of service.

The commission approved the issuance by the City of no more than $90,000,000 of its hospital revenue refunding bonds, for a loan or loans by the City to Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Inc. (LRMC) This is in order to reduce debt service obligations of LRMC under the financing agreement, to fund any necessary reserves, and to pay certain costs of issuance of the Bonds, all as provided in the Trust Agreement.

Proposed Changes for the Williams Development of Regional Impact were continued to the July 18th commission meeting.

$15,460.47 in lot clearing liens were approved.

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LLRA) General Liability Insurance Modification was approved.


Land use and zoning for a church and school at 4210 Lakeland Highlands Road were approved.


Also approved was an agreement with FDOT to provide sidewalks on Lakeland Highlands Road from Deerfield Drive to North of Polk Parkway.


In Lakeland Electric related matters, a task authorization with Chastain Skillman for a fire protection system design, a lease for maintenance and repair of electric distribution facilities with Publix Supermarkets, Inc. and a short list of firms to provide engineering services in support of a management/supervisory control and data acquisition system were all approved in final action.


To view any of these items on video-on-demand




Local artist Russell Mank, a recent Harrison School of the Arts graduate, was announced as the 2011 National GRAND PRIZE WINNER at the National Young Artists & Authors Showcase sponsored by Sister Cities International, Washington, DC.  Mank will be officially recognized by the City of Lakeland at a July 5th City Commission meeting.

His piece entitled Green Future is slated to tour throughout the United States as part of the Young Artist Showcase.  Mank won $1,000 cash and another $400 towards travel to the Sister City conference in California where the showcase works of art are now on display.  The winning art and literature pieces are scheduled to tour the United States for a year with announced stops in San Diego, California, Dayton, Ohio and Suffolk, Virginia.  New stops will be introduced as part of the 2012 portion of the art tour.

This year’s international showcase, themed “Shaping your Community for a Greener Future”  was an opportunity for 13 - 18 year-old artists to utilize recycled materials or other 2D media to illustrate the ways they, their community, or their sister city are working to protect the local environment.  A panel of judges selected the five US winners and five international winners based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation.

 Mank said this about his award winning art work, “This piece of art comments on the modern movement for greener automotive technology.”  He added, “It is a collage of old and new design materials with a soil element that became the base from which new greener technology will bloom.”  A prominent sunflower captures the eye on Mank’s piece of art which he says represents a green future.

Mank also won a $1,000 college scholarship through Lakeland Sister Cities International in a separate award this year.  He plans to attend Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, to pursue an advertising career.

Since 1988, the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase has encouraged youth around the globe to express their interpretation of their mission, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, cooperation through one individual, one community at a time.

On Monday, June 27, 2011, City crews will begin construction on a new sidewalk on the South side of Ariana Street from Camphor Drive to Unitah Ave.  No road closures are anticipated, but minor delays can be expected.

For additional information, contact Matt Glenn at 863.834.3305.  

At their meeting of June 20th the Lakeland City Commission took the following actions:

Diretta Wilcox, and Michael Cliggit were reappointed to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Christopher McArthur, was appointed to the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board.

Tim Mitchell was reappointed and Hugh Autry was appointed to the Midtown Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board.

Terry Dennis was reappointed to the Planning and Zoning Board.

Doug McInnes was appointed to the Police Officer Retirement Fund – Board of Trustees.

John Shelburne was appointed to the Lakeland Housing Authority.

A lease agreement with Florida Modification Specialists, LLC and Termination of a Lease agreement with Watkin’s ground at the Airport were approved.

A request from Scott Gardner representing Explorations V to release a city  lien on their building was referred to the City Attorney’s office.

Land Use and Zoning land located South of Drane Field Road and East of Hamilton Road to allow for a Lakeland Electric solar panel project were approved.

The Reallocation of Industrial, Office and Commercial uses and a development agreement between the City of Lakeland and Doherty Holdings Second, LLC on property located Northwest of Interstate 4, East of Kathleen Road, South of Griffin Rd.                                                                                                

Zoning and Conditional Use to Allow Chemical and Allied Products Manufacturing on Property Located West of North Combee Road Approximately 1,000 Feet North of Saddle Creek Road was approved.

Airport Ground Transportation Regulations setting forth standards for the performance of commercial ground transportation services; establishing permit and privilege fees for operators of commercial ground transportation services were approved.

A public hearing was scheduled for July 5 on proposed changes for Williams Development of Regional Impact and on providing for issuance of not to exceed $90,000,000 aggregate principal amount of hospital revenue refunding bonds for a loan to Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Inc. and Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Inc.

A permit agreement with H&H Shuttle Services of Polk County, Florida to administer passenger shuttle services at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport was approved.

A fuel charge increase of 15 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after June 30th was approved. An agreement with Atlas Tracks, Inc. for Replacement of Turf at Bryant Stadium was approved.

Acceptance of a Justice Assistance Grant Award for a Domestic Abuse Response Team Coordinator for LPD was approved.

The Operating Agreement with Direct Air was approved.

In action taken after the Utility Committee meeting the City Commission approved an Agreement with TeamworkNET, Inc. for an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Study to better define what type of Personal Protective Equipment must be provided to properly protect employees when working on or near energized electrical equipment .

In final action a proposed Capacity Release Agreement between the City of Lakeland Florida Municipal Power Association (FMPA) to take over a Service agreement with Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC. For natural gas transportation capacity was approved.