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!

Free event with live music and green living exhibits


LAKELAND, FL (March 25, 2011) -- On April 22nd there will be a Free Green Celebration in honor of Earth Day with a concert and showcase at the Lake Mirror Promenade from 6 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. There will be live music from the band Cheatwood along with a variety of exhibits promoting green living initiatives.

Cheatwood was raised on Hendrix, Page, Clapton and Winter.  The band is comprised of seasoned professionals including Greg Cheatwood, Vincenzo Salvaggio, Dean Amaicone and Eric Nutting.  Cheatwood’s performance includes iconic songs of the 60’s and early 70’s while mixing in an equal number of original tunes based on music from the same era.  It is the band’s hope that the generation who lived through the music will remember their youth and the best of times while introducing the best of those times to a new generation.

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.

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 Lakeland Green Celebration is sponsored in part by Magnify Credit Union.  Magnify Credit Union recently received the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council’s Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards for their South Lakeland Branch. The facility was designed as the first “Net Zero” energy commercial building in the state, which means that the on-site renewable energy systems will produce more electricity than the building will use annually.


At the City Commission meeting held on Tuesday April 4th Tamara Sakagawa CRA Manager presented the CRA annual report. Beautification Awards were presented to Lesley and Brian Chambers owner of 751 Edgewood Dr. and Citizens Bank & Trust at 1985 E. Edgewood Dr.

Proclamations were presented for: Community Development Week, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Donate Life Month, Estates at Carpenters Day, Fair Housing Month, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, National Volunteer Week, Relay for Life Day, and Toastmasters Awareness Month.

The Finance Committee minutes were presented including a report that overall; it was a good year for the City. Lakeland Electric (LE) had a good year. The sales exceeded the budget targets. The City received a bond rating upgrade and closed the year with a surplus balance in the General Fund of $2 million more than forecast. The City will use the additional $2 million of reserves to meet the budget challenge over the next few years.

A final hearing was held on the one year action plan and projected use of funds for the 37th year CDBG and 17th Year HOME funds. Also presented was the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) three-year-plan for 2011-2014.

The commission also approved a change order for the East-West Connector design build contract and the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport taxiway apron drainage project change order.

Public hearings were scheduled for the next City Commission Meeting for a school at 1129 N. Missouri Ave., a concrete aggregate, yard waste and construction debris recycling facility at the intersection of Fairbanks Street and Bella Vista Street., an Internally Illuminated Ground Sign on Property Located at 4450 Harden Boulevard, and Creation of the Interruptible / Time of Use Rate Class for Lakeland Electric.

Resolutions were approved for: the execution of FDOT’s Corporate Resolution, Delegation, and Special Power of Attorney, FDOT Necessary Agreements and Documents to Permit the City to Participate in Connection with the US 98 S Project - Wastewater & Water Utilities. A resolution was also approved that provides authority to invest the retiree health premiums fund.

In final action the commission awarded the annual debris management services contract to D&J Enterprises, Inc. of Alabama and approved the community housing development organization agreements with Keystone Challenge Fund, Inc.

According to the National Weather Service, severe weather blew through Lakeland yesterday with heavy rains and high winds.  Updated reports now indicate as many as four tornadoes touched down in Polk County and there were reports of hail in many parts of Lakeland including downtown. The severe weather caused damage to trees, power loss and damage to aircraft at the Sun n Fun Fly-In.

Lakeland Electric has restored all circuits and all transmission lines are back up.  At one point there were 11 circuits out within the Lakeland Electric service territory causing approximately 20,000 customers to be without power.

As of 4 p.m., Lakeland Electric restoration efforts are now concentrating on approximately 3,000-4,000 scattered outages throughout the system with the largest concentration of outages in the Southwest quadrant of the Lakeland Electric service territory.

Mutual aid crews have been dispatched from Jacksonville, New Smyrna, Leesburg and Tallahassee to assist power restoration efforts.  Crews will work until 10 p.m. and will start again early Saturday morning.  It is estimated that all power will be restored by late Saturday.

Please note that if an outage has been reported by a customer, it is in the system and a work order has been generated.

Sun n Fun has reported damage to at least 69 aircraft at the Fly-In with 24-28 planes considered totaled. Sun n Fun has resumed operations today with the Blue Angels practicing for their weekend show.