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!

City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

Green Celebration 1 from City of Lakeland on Vimeo.

LAKELAND, FL (February 10, 2017) — This year's Green Celebration will take place on Friday, April 21st in honor of Earth Day with a concert & showcase at the Lake Mirror Promenade from 6 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. There will be live music from reggae band Jah Movement along with a variety of exhibits promoting green living initiatives during this FREE event. Participating Polk County Schools will showcase their green initiatives with student displays during the event and participants are encouraged to vote on their favorite.

Jah Movement have the distinction of winning Creative Loafing’s 2016 ‘Best Local Reggae Band’ in the Tampa Bay Area and the band was recognized by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for Best Local Entertainment for 2016. Jah Movement is made up of some of the best musicians in South West Florida. Damie Caines, former lead vocalist of popular band ‘Democracy’, provides his unique sounds that many local reggae artists can’t touch. Shantel Norman, who is one of the most popular female vocalist in the Tampa Bay area, can sing any genre of music and leave people with their mouths wide open. She has won many awards because of her talents. Maurice Brown (Drummy) is one drummer that can sing and play drums at the same time. His smooth voice adds to the harmony and always keeps the crowd smiling. Lead keyboardist and vocalist, Dougie Gresham is the music director of the famous Ky-Mani Marley and he brings his many talents to the band. Founded in May 2015, Jah Movement has established a well-known name and reputation throughout Florida with a passion for live performances. They bring their own sound that includes reggae with a touch of R&B, Soul and Funk. You never know what popular songs they will play during their live shows!

The Green Celebration honors Earth Day, a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and it is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day.

There will be a number of exhibits and vendors that will have displays at the event. The Polk County School Board will also participate showcasing various school programs and earth friendly initiatives designed to promote a greener more sustainable future. A panel of judges will pick the school that exemplifies the most earth friendly project based on recycle and reuse initiatives. Participants can also get involved by visiting each display and casting a vote for the People’s Choice award.

The Green Celebration invites the Lakeland community to attend the FREE event. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy the festivities as we celebrate Earth Day. Participants are encouraged to recycle, reclaim, reuse and ride a bike. The event is sponsored in part by the City of Lakeland, Magnify Credit Union, and Furr & Wegman Architects.

Public Meeting Notice
County Line Road and US 92 Intersection Improvements


(February 9, 2017) - The City of Lakeland has scheduled a public meeting regarding the proposed County Line Road and US 92 Intersection Improvements Project. The meeting will be held Thursday, March 9th, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Lakeland Police Department Community Room located at 219 North Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801.

This project proposes to construct a new northbound right turn lane and a new eastbound right turn lane at the intersection of County Line Road and US 92. It also proposes to close the median opening at the intersection of County Line Road and Old Tampa Highway and add a new median opening at the driveway south of Old Tampa Highway. Traffic desiring to turn onto Old Tampa Highway from southbound County Line Road can take US 92 east to Clark Road as an alternative route.

The public meeting is being conducted to present the 30% design plans and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. City staff and representatives from the design team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards and other visual aids depicting the project will be available throughout the meeting. Construction is funded and could begin as soon as 2018.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons with disabilities needing special accommodation to participate in this proceeding, or those requiring language assistance (free of charge) should contact the City of Lakeland ADA Specialist, Jenny Sykes, no later than five business days prior to the proceeding, at (863) 834-8444, Email:

. If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD – Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

Design related information may be obtained by contacting the City of Lakeland Project Manager, Joseph Baan, P.E., at the contact information above or by contacting the City’s consultant, John Burkett, P.E. with DRMP, Inc. at 407-896-0594 or



Joseph R. Baan, P.E. | City of Lakeland | 863/834-6041





FEBRUARY 2, 2017 (Lakeland, FL) – A section of Massachusetts Avenue from Main Street to Pine Street originally scheduled to be closed today has been rescheduled.  The road will now be closed for one day on Wednesday, February 8th 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.  




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.