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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!


Emergency Training Exercise Happening At Lakeland Air Port


A full-scale emergency exercise, designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident, is being held here on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

More than 150 individuals from 15 agencies will gather to participate in the exercise. The scenario involves a commercial aircraft unable to make an emergency landing on runway 9 but instead lands in the Airport’s solar farm, a mile west of the approach end of runway 9. Emergency agencies in and around Polk County will respond to the simulated scenario. There will be signage along Drane Field Rd. indicating that a training exercise is in progress. There will be numerous vehicles and large apparatus entering and exiting Drane Field Rd. and Hamilton Rd. along the airport’s property, where the exercise will be taking place.

The community should be advised there is no need for concern.

Uniform Method of Collection Resolution – Fire Assessment

The City Commission will consider adopting a resolution at its regularly scheduled December 15 meeting relating to the method of billing and collecting any potential fire assessment the Commission may adopt.  State law requires that a local government collecting a non-ad valorem special assessment for the first time adopt a resolution prior to January 1, or March 1 under certain circumstances, if it wishes to collect the assessment utilizing the tax bills issued for property taxes.  The proposed resolution only addresses the method of billing and collection if a fire assessment is adopted and does not constitute the actual adoption of a fire assessment.  

Further action by the City Commission, after a duly noticed public hearing, will be necessary before the official adoption of any fire assessment.

View Resolution


Lakeland’s Fire Chief Gary Ballard is New First Vice President
for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association


On August 5, 2014 Chief Ballard was nominated and elected by his peers to become the First Vice President for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). Having served as the West Central Regional Director and the Second Vice President for the FFCA over the past two years, Chief Ballard has the skills and knowledge to continue to lead within the organization. This new role will allow him to share his 37+ years of experience in an expanded capacity with fire service leaders from all over Florida as First Vice President.

This professional platform will allow Chief Ballard to showcase the excellent emergency services that the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) offers the people of Lakeland, as well as create additional networking opportunities that will add to the quality and scope of LFD’s services. It is also a wonderful opportunity to lend his leadership skills to help the fire service as a whole in Florida.

The FFCA is made up of fire and emergency professionals from all ranks representing all regions of Florida. The association’s mission is to promote and support excellence in fire & emergency services. The association does so by recognizing the fields best and brightest, offering scholarships, fundraising for charity, and providing professional development. With Chief Ballard in this new leadership position, he will undoubtedly continue to expand those efforts.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Chief Ballard for increasing the City of Lakeland’s profile and presence throughout the state.


NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH – 7TH STREET PARK

LAKELAND, FL (June 18, 2014) - On Saturday, June 21st from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. the City of Lakeland will join volunteers from a variety of organizations and churches to hold a community outreach event at 7th Street Park (1500 W. 7th Street, Lakeland FL 33805). 

Commissioner Phillip Walker, “This is an area that has recently experienced a number of gang involved shootings and the events is part of our Refuse to Lose anti-gang initiative as we work together to address this problem and keep our fingers on the pulse of this whole issue.  We will work with our faith based partners, the Polk County School Board, area law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens as we continue to move forward.”  He added, “We must all work together and let those know that we will not tolerate this behavior and we will use our resources to seek the maximum penalty allowed for those involved in gang activity." 

The outreach event will include neighborhood cleanup with volunteers stopping by every residence in the area with gift bags of food inviting them to the focal event at 7th Street Park.  Activities in the park will include:

·      Bounce Houses

·      Sports Camp hosted by Simpson Park

·      Kids Club hosted by Dream Center

·      Face Painting hosted by Southeastern University

·      Grilled Hotdogs hosted by Lakeland Fire Department

Pastor Mike Cooper from the Dream Center said, “We spend a great deal of time in these neighborhoods and this outreach event is just one way that we as a community can show support for residents and let them know that we care.  We will be assisting those in the neighborhood by cutting their grass, doing clean-up activities and we have a fun day planned at the park. 

Parking is available at 1121 Atlantic Road and/or 1430 Atline Road.

For additional information contact the Dream Center at 863-413-0088 or email shill@dreamcenterlakeland.org.