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!

The Florida Regional Planning Councils in association with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Florida Office of Energy are identifying potential strategies to diversify Florida's energy future and reduce reliance on foreign energy sources. As part of this effort, Florida’s Regional Planning Councils have developed a survey regarding electricity, gasoline usage, and renewable energy resources. Please complete the survey by visiting the Florida-Energy website ( to help decision-makers create options for Floridians with respect to state energy planning and energy security issues. Please complete the survey by September 30, 2012.


Break Bread with the Mayor while getting updates on City projects.

Ask questions, stay informed and get engaged.


LAKELAND, FL (September 6, 2012) -- Mayor Gow Fields invites local residents to attend the next Mornings with the Mayor event at 7 a.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at Fred’s Southern Kitchen (2120 Harden Boulevard Lakeland, FL).  Mayor Fields will make his remarks and take questions from the audience around 7:30 a.m. after they have had a chance to go through the breakfast buffet.  Polk County Property Appraiser, Marsha Faux will also be in attendance to address the audience regarding property values and the assessment process.


Mayor Fields said, “Accessibility is one of the keys to local government and Mornings with the Mayor provides the opportunity for our citizens to share their views, ask questions and provide feedback on issues that are directly affecting them.” He added, “These events have been very successful and they allow me to spend valuable face to face time with our residents.” These events allow residents to meet with the Mayor in an informal setting to talk about issues, ask questions, voice concerns and offer comments or suggestions.  “It’s also an excellent way for us to gather valuable information from Lakeland residents on timely issues,” said Fields. “Right now we are in the process of considering a property tax increase to build a fire station in southwest Lakeland and this will be a very good chance for the community to come out and share their thoughts on that subject. 

Fred’s Southern Kitchen has reserved a private dining area for the event. The restaurant features a breakfast buffet as well as menu items.  Those wishing to partake in breakfast are responsible for the cost of their own meal.  For more information regarding the City of Lakeland, please visit




The City of Lakeland will host a public Budget Hearing on Wednesday, September 5th  from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at City Hall located at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue.   The meeting will feature a presentation highlighting the upcoming Fiscal Year 2013 Budget and it will allow citizens to ask questions regarding project funding, services and City initiatives.

The event will start at 6 p.m. with a presentation on the FY2013 Budget from City Manager Doug Thomas and Finance Director Greg Finch. The budget presentation will include areas of concern and budget assumptions based on tax levels, service fees and other revenues collected. 

There will also be discussion regarding funding options for a fire station proposed to be built in the southwest Lakeland area on Lakeland Linder Regional Airport property.   Funding options for the proposed station include a possible increase in the property tax rate or an increase in water/waste water rates.

Viewers can also watch the meeting LIVE on television by tuning into the Lakeland Government Network (LGN) on Bright House Networks channel 615 or 107 on the digital tier and Verizon FiOS channel 43. The event will be available in its entirety through the City of Lakeland’s website as a video on demand or streaming on

The City will host a second public Budget Hearing on September 17th at City Hall.  Both meetings are open to the public and citizen involvement is encouraged.  For more information on the Budget Hearings or to watch them live through streaming media, please visit

LAKELAND, FL (August 27, 2012) - The City of Lakeland and Lakeland Electric have scheduled a special community forum to be held at the Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theater on Tuesday, September 4th at 6 p.m. to discuss the emerging issues facing all electric utilities, provide an update regarding public power and outline the current environment for Florida municipal electric utilities.  Lakeland residents are encouraged to attend and the event is free to the public.

Two very knowledgeable industry leaders will present information about the electric industry and public power utilities, closing the event with a discussion on the role public utilities play in the Florida market.  Mark Gabriel is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Process for Black and Veatch, working with global clients in the development and execution of strategic initiatives. He leads Black and Veatch’s Pathfinder group in electricity, water, oil and gas and manages its Business Process Group of professionals whose activities include rates, regulatory issues, resource planning, transmission, natural gas and water.  In addition, he leads the company cyber security practice.  His clients include some of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities as well as a number of co-ops, generation and transmission entities, municipal utilities, NASA and the Department of Energy.

Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association will present an update on municipal electric issues and opportunities in Florida.  Serving as FMEA’s Executive Director since 1996, he represents Florida’s 34 publicly owned electric utilities before the Florida legislature and regulatory agencies. With a background in the energy industry since the early 1980’s, he has performed oil and natural gas research for the U.S. Department of Energy and promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency for another division of the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Moline also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala working to conserve firewood. Before joining FMEA, he worked in Washington, D.C. for the American Public Power Association (APPA), the national trade association for municipal electric utilities.

Lakeland Electric is a full service power provider with over 600 full-time employees that serve over 120,000 customers.  The utility is the third largest public power provider in Florida generating over 1,100-megawatts and operating 2,000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities.  Lakeland Electric owns and operates one of the most efficient combined cycle gas units in the United States and has been on the forefront of emerging renewable energy sources.  Based on current Florida Municipal Electric Association data, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates are the second lowest in the state for residential customers as well as the second lowest in Florida for all of the commercial rate classes.

The Lakeland Center is located at 701 West Lime Street.  For more information on this event, please go to or call 863/834-6264.