City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

Lakeland Fire Department - Celebrating 100 Years of Service: 1916 - 2016

Lakeland, FL – 2016 is turning out to be a remarkable year for the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD). The new year not only marks the first time in the department’s history that it can tout an Insurance Services Office Classification of a 1 (the highest achievable rating in emergency response that a community can receive) but it is also the year in which the Lakeland Fire Department will celebrate 100 years as a career fire department. 

This is a historic event not only for the department but for the City of Lakeland. The department was officially made a career fire department by then city commissioners who had the foresight to professionalize emergency response services through an ordinance passed on August 16, 1916.  This was done for the benefit of the community in light of several catastrophic fires that had occurred in previous years.  

To mark the significance of this achievement and as a way of sharing that pride with the Lakeland community that makes it all possible, the department will be celebrating in several cost effective ways throughout 2016 in honor of its centennial. Centennial Celebration items include:

  • Commemorative centennial badges for emergency response personnel (paid for entirely out of pocket by the individual firefighters). The badges capture the department’s rich history with patriotic flair (photo attached);
  • Custom decals for all apparatus to highlight that LFD is proud to be “Celebrating 100 years of Service”. These will be on apparatus through August of 2017;
  • Commemorative flags at all stations to highlight the centennial; 
  • The restoration of Leaping Lena, the department’s original 1938 Pirsch Fire Truck to be used at public events like the Lakeland Christmas Parade. Restoration has been ongoing for a year;
  • A centennial celebration for the entire community at Fire Station 1 on August 13, 2016. It will be a free and public event to educate the community on the department’s past and present as well as fire safety. More information about the event will be provided closer to the event date. 

For more information about the department, its history, and the ways the Lakeland Fire Department is celebrating its 100 years as a career emergency response organization, visit .


You are encouraged to share this information with the community. For more information, interview requests with department representatives, filming, etc. please contact PIO Janel Vasallo.


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The Lakeland Police Department is scheduled for an onsite assessment as part of a program to achieve accreditation by verifying it meets professional standards. 

Administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas; policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. 

As part of the onsite assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session, Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The session will be conducted in the City of Lakeland Commission Chambers, located at 228 S. Massachuset
ts Avenue, Lakeland, Fl. 

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency ability to comply with CALEA standards. The local contact is Accreditation Manager Caroline Renew (863) 834-8907. 

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Lakeland Police Department’s ability to comply with standards for accreditation may send them to:

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
135 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320
Gainesville, Virginia 20155

Road Work at East Edgewood Drive and South Florida Ave Begins March 21st!

On Monday, March 21 at 11:00 p.m. contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin milling East Edgewood Drive from South Florida Avenue going east towards Troy Avenue. Work is expected to take 5 hours to complete.

On Tuesday, March 22, City of Lakeland Crews will be constructing a concrete median along E Edgewood Dr. beginning at 8:00 a.m. This work is planned to take a week to complete weather permitting.

On Monday, March 28, contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin paving the roadway at 8:00 a.m. Delays again are expected. This work is expected to take 8 hours to complete.

Roads will remain open during the process; however delays are likely. Residents are asked to look for alternate routes and if traveling the work zone please use caution.

The Lakeland City Commission voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers $3.35 per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after April 1, 2016.  The new fuel charge will be $37.00 per 1,000 kWh. After listening to a presentation at the Monday, March 7th Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended a decrease to the current fuel charge based on fuel forecasts in both the natural gas and coal markets. 


Current                    New Rates – Effective April  1, 2016

Base Charge            $  63.02         $  63.02 (includes environmental charges)

Fuel Charge             $  40.35        $  37.00 (includes fuel decrease)

TOTAL:                      $103.37         $100.02


Base Rate

Customer Charge               

$  9.50

Energy & Smart charges   

$50.99/1000 kWh

Environmental Charge         

$  2.53/1000 kWh           

         Total Base Charge         

$63.02/ 1000 kWh 

The base rate includes environmental compliance charges that are directly related to federal and state initiatives regarding clean air and water mandates. Most of the expenses are related to energy production and include air emission controls, water quality monitoring and capital spending for equipment necessary to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act. 

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through charge to customers. 

Based on Florida Municipal Electric Association data, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates after the April 2016 fuel charge decrease will continue to be one of the lowest in the state. Visit for more information on Lakeland Electric services and visit to see residential rate comparisons.