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, FL (September 14, 2015) -- The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th for the 35th Annual Swan Roundup.  Parks & Recreation employees will be carefully gathering the swans to get them ready for their annual veterinary check-up. The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for their annual wellness examinations that will start Wednesday morning, October 7th at 7:30 a.m. with Patricia Mattson, DVM. The Annual Swan Round-Up allows the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population.
The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in 1957.  As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began in 1980 and has continued every year since then. The swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original "Swanvet" W.G. Gardner. His dedication to the flock carries on with Dr. Mattson.
Dr. Mattson has 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine.  She the owner of Companion Animal Hospital a full service facility that provides general medical care, preventive medical care, vaccinations, health certificates, caesarean section, diagnostic services, on-site kennel, on-site laboratory testing, flea control, dietary counseling, spay/neuter, declawing, radiology, general surgery, dentistry, emergency services, microchipping, pharmacy services and boarding.
Dr. Patricia Mattson who donates her time as Lakeland’s official swan veterinarian recently shared her report on Lake Morton’s swans after their last annual physical.  Mattson said, “The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet with very little nutritional value is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population.”  She added, “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread.”   This is just one of the items that will be reviewed during the swans annual health checkup.
Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been feeding them left-over bread for decades.”  He added, “We recently added swan feeders around the lake and we hope families will use the swan feed because it is specially formulated to include much needed nutrients that will help the swans stay healthy.”  The Lake Morton swan feeders are coin operated and the proceeds from the feeders is used to offset the annual cost for swan food, healthcare and upkeep. It costs about $10,000 a year to feed Lakeland’s domestic swans. 

Election Team Hits the Road for Registration Deadline

POLK COUNTY, FL (October 1, 2015) – The last day to register to vote for the November 3rd municipal elections in the cities of Lakeland and Winter Haven is Monday, October 5th, and the Polk County elections office will be offering mobile voter registration services to ensure everyone has an opportunity to register before this important deadline.

Residents who have not yet registered can sign-up to vote, and voters may update their information if it’s not current with the elections office.  Voters may also request a mail ballot.

Our Mobile Voter Registration Teams will set up Monday, October 5th at the following locations:



  9 am   Harden Boulevard near Oakbridge Center                                

10 am   South Florida Avenue near Southgate Shopping Center

11 am   US Highway 98 North near Taco Bell and Panera Bread

Winter Haven                      

1 pm     Highway 17 and State Road 544 near Home Depot

2 pm     3rd Street NW near City Hall

3 pm     Cypress Gardens Boulevard near Chain of Lakes Complex


For more information, call the Elections Office at 863-534-5888.

Beginning October 5th 2015 contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin milling and resurfacing North Socrum Loop Rd from Daughtery Rd/Walt Loop Rd to Marcum.

Traffic will remain open and work will be performed between the hours of 8:00a.m.— 4:30 p.m. Delays are expected and uneven lanes will occur. Residents are urged to use caution through the work zone.

Work is expected to take 2 weeks weather permitting. For questions please contact Troy McCain at (863) 834-3303.



Twelfth Biennial Historic Home Workshop

LAKELAND, FL (September 29, 2015) – The Twelfth Biennial Historic Home Workshop will be held Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Ordway Building at Florida Southern College.  Registration and refreshments begin at 8:00 a.m.  The one-hour workshops will start at 8:30 a.m., and will be conducted by both local and statewide experts.  

Workshops will be offered on a variety of topics, including:

  • Creating a Maintenance Plan for Your Old House – Jodi Rubin, CCS Restoration
  • Historic Masonry Repair – Angel Corrales, American Window Preservation LLC
  • Insulating Your Historic Home the Right Way – Angel Corrales, MOHR Historic Restoration Co.  
  • Rehabbing Your Wood Windows – Steve Quillian, Wood Window Makeover
  • Rescuing Old Plaster – Scott Sidler, Austin Home Restorations
  • Designing Accessory Buildings: Outbuildings that Complement Your Historic Home – JoAnne Peck, Preservation Resource, Inc./
  • Landscaping on a Small Lot – John King, King Landscaping
  • Fireplace Care and Safety – Chimney Sweep of Florida
  • The Energy Efficient Smart Home – Kevin Jones and Rico Dunsmore, Energy Analysts, Lakeland Electric
  • Let’s Building Something! Building Permitting – Dan Gargas; Building Official, City of Lakeland
  • Don’t Be a Slum Lord: Landlord Management within the Historic Districts – Gene Lord; DART Coordinator, Lakeland Police Department
  • Navigating the Historic District Design Review Process – Emily Foster; Senior Planner, Historic Preservation, City of Lakeland
  • Code Enforcement and Property Maintenance – Brian Rewis, Community Improvement Manager, City of Lakeland
  • Florida Native Landscaping: Plant Selection and Care – Bill Keon, Parks and Recreation

A free tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian House will be offered at the conclusion of the Workshop.

Trade groups and companies that provide services and supplies for the maintenance and renovation of older homes may be represented in the Exhibit Area.  Other exhibitors will include City agencies and various organizations devoted to historic preservation.

This Workshop is free and open to all interested residents.  This is a great opportunity to learn about home renovations and to meet other people involved in preserving the architectural heritage of Lakeland.  This event is sponsored by the City of Lakeland Historic Preservation Board, Historic Lakeland, Inc., Florida Southern College, CenterState Bank, Wood Window Makeover LLC and Publix Super Markets, Inc.

For more information, call Emily Foster in the Community Development Department (863) 834-6011 or visit our website at