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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!


PRESS CONFERENCE

ANNOUNCING 160+ ACRE REGIONAL PARK

 

WHO: Local philanthropists including Barnett Family, David Bunch and former Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley 

 

WHAT: Event to introduce 160+ Acre privately-funded regional park

 

WHERE: Property includes former CSX railyard bordered by Lake Bonnet, Kathleen Road, Memorial Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard. Press Conference attendees will enter park from North Webster Avenue (720 N. Webster Ave). There will way finding signage off George Jenkins Boulevard to assist participants with direction.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8th at 11 a.m.

 

WHY: Two former industrial areas being mitigated to create regional urban park with numerous amenities that include: walking trails, multiple play areas, amphitheater, botanical gardens and public art displays.


LAKELAND, FL (February 6, 2017) - The media is invited to a press conference to introduce the vision and name of a 160+ acre regional park.  This park will be situated within 200 acres of assembled property that includes the former CSX Railyard, the former Florida Tile industrial site and the adjoining historical parcels that once occupied this tract of land.  Local visionaries including the Barnett Family (Barney, Carol, Wesley and Nicholas), longtime Lakeland commercial real estate broker David Bunch along with former City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley have quietly assembled the property to bring the vision of a regional urban park to life.  

 

This property has over one mile of lake front, features oak hammocks with grandfather oaks, a small spring and a natural setting for an amphitheater. A great deal of work has already been done and the media is invited to hear the vision and tour this great fantastic piece of land. “Lakeland needs an incredible green space to improve its residents’ lives by bringing them closer to nature. This park will provide visitors with an educational experience and there will be multiple avenues for family enjoyment and entertainment,” said  Barney Barnett. “The City of Lakeland has built an incredible park system but this new endeavor will be like nothing our residents and visitors have ever seen here, both in scale and possibility.” 

 

The current plan is to restore the two industrial land areas and enable them to return to a productive use. The former Florida Tile site -which is not planned as part of the park - will be cleaned up, revitalized and reintroduced to the market place as a high density, quality mixed-use development comparable with the proposed park to support Lakeland’s downtown needs.  Proceeds from the sale of this development will be put back into the regional park project.  Proposed plans for the regional park include nature trails, an amphitheater, multiple playground areas, historically-themed areas, a miniature train, botanical gardens, bike paths, public art displays and much more. The park is slated to open by 2020. 



Lakeland, FL (February 2, 2017) – A section of Massachusetts Avenue from Main Street to Pine Street will be closed for one day on Monday, February 6th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. so the roadway can be resurfaced to install a new traffic pattern. Traffic will no longer need to change lanes going through this section of Massachusetts Avenue. A new north bound right turn lane at Main Street was recently constructed to facilitate this new traffic pattern. 

During the resurfacing project there will be a detour for north and south bound traffic along this section of Massachusetts Avenue. The detour for north bound traffic on Massachusetts Avenue will turn left or west onto Main Street and then north or right on Kentucky Avenue to Pine Street. Traffic can then turn east or right on Pine Street to return to Massachusetts Avenue. South bound traffic on Massachusetts Avenue will turn right or west on Pine Street and from there turn left or south on Kentucky Avenue to Main Street. Traffic can turn left or east on Main Street to return to Massachusetts Avenue. 

These detours will be clearly marked. Those impacted by the resurfacing project are asked to please use caution and be patient while driving through work zones.


LAKELAND, FL (January 30, 2016) - The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce the hiring of thirteen new firefighters that will begin duty on Monday, February 6, 2017. The new hires are filling vacancies from recent retirements of longtime LFD veterans and openings left as a result of internal promotions.

The new firefighters will begin with the department’s month-long orientation program at the Lakeland Fire Department’s Training Center located at 901 Granada Street. Although all the new hires are certified firefighters, this training course is designed to teach the new firefighters how to do things the “Lakeland” way. They review a full spectrum of practical skills they need to perform on the job as well as emergency medical training before being released into the field.

“Our hiring committee is confident that it selected the best available candidates and it’s comforting to know that the new firefighters joining our ranks are highly skilled and qualified to continue providing the high quality emergency services our department is known for.” said Training Chief John Almskog, coordinator of the hiring effort and leader of the department’s four-week orientation program.

LFD strives to have a fire department that is representative of the community it serves. The department is proud that of the thirteen new hires, five are U.S. Military veterans. Additionally, the group of new firefighters includes a female, Hispanic, and African American firefighter, respectively. The group of new firefighters even includes a former NFL football player.

Of the new hires, one is already certified as a paramedic while the others are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). A majority of the new hires hail from central Florida and are graduates of area fire academies like the Ridge Career Center Fire Academy and Hillsborough Community College Fire Academy.

The new hires bring the department to a total of 171 personnel whom, last year alone, responded to nearly 24,500 call for service. 




LAKELAND, FL (January 3, 2017) - Don Selvage will not be seeking re-election for a third term as Lakeland City Commissioner representing the Southwest District. Selvage was first elected to the Lakeland City Commission in 2009. He currently chairs the Aging Task Force and the Broadband Task Force. He is a member of the Utility Committee and Municipal Boards & Committees. He also serves on the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District Board, Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, SUN 'n FUN Board, Polk Transit Authority, and the Transportation Planning Organization.

“It has been a high honor to work for the residents of Lakeland and I’m extremely grateful for the community’s support during my tenure on the commission. I’ve had the privilege of serving with many distinguished elected officials, whose commitment to this City has never been in doubt,” said Selvage. “The dedicated civil servants who work for the City of Lakeland have been supportive of me and exceptionally responsive to constituent issues. It is their passion for excellence that makes Lakeland great.”

Selvage served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring as a colonel before coming to Lakeland in 1999. He is the owner of SHR Human Resources, LLC. He continues to be active in many civic and professional organizations. Selvage holds a degree in Political Science from Ohio State University and advanced degrees in Administration and National Security Affairs from Central Michigan University and Salve Regina College respectively.

Selvage’s tenure with the Lakeland City Commission will end December 2017 after eight years of dedicated service to the community. Selvage said, “Although I will be leaving elected office, my wife, Rita and I intend to remain engaged in community affairs where we hope to be able to contribute in some way to this vibrant, wonderful City. I will be 70 years old when my term ends with the Lakeland City Commission and that will be a good time to start thinking about a new chapter of my life.” 

CONTACT

Don Selvage, Commissioner | don.selvage@lakelandgov.net