City News Blog

rss

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 (August 1, 2016) – The City of Lakeland has launched a new digital platform powered by OpenGov that provides residents, elected officials, and staff unprecedented access to the city’s finances and performance information. The OpenGov platform transforms complex financial data into an interactive, digital format that enables better analysis and understanding of the city’s finances. The intuitive design makes it easier to explore how taxpayer money is collected. The platform may be accessed from the City of Lakeland’s home page at www.lakelandgov.net. 

The OpenGov platform displays 10 years of government spending and revenue detail in a user-friendly portal. Users can view historical revenue and expenditure trends over time and explore multiple views of financial data, including by fund, department, expense, or revenue type. For example, visitors to the platform may answer frequently asked questions such as “What did the city spend on public safety over the past 10 years?” or “How much did the city collect in taxes? Users can review revenues and expenses along with budget history to get a better understanding of the City of Lakeland’s finances.  The tool also allows users to share information directly from the platform via email or on social media.

City Manager Tony Delgado and the City’s Finance Department led the initiative to make the City’s finances more transparent and understandable.

Delgado said, “One of my major goals is to provide a customer centric philosophy to local government and understanding a complex issue like budgeting and finance is important for our citizens and our local officials.  By making financial data easily accessible in an intuitive, digital format, I really feel that Lakeland is demonstrating our commitment to efficient, data-driven and open government.”

Beyond sharing information with the public, the City will be able to use OpenGov internally to create custom reports, manage operations to budget, and keep administrators informed. With the launch of OpenGov, the City of Lakeland joins a growing list of more than 1,000 leading cities, counties, state agencies, school systems, and special districts across the country that leverage OpenGov technology.  Users are invited to review budgets using a series of filters and views.  There is a tutorial video on the City’s OpenGov landing page to help users get started using the budget transparency tool.


Grand Opening August 3rd at 10:30am

LAKELAND, FL (July 27, 2015) - The City of Lakeland’s Webster Park has received a facelift thanks to a $190,000 donation from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company and a $17,000 donation from the Midtown CRA.  Improvements include a new playground with several themed pieces of equipment that features a full range of slides, climbers, ladders and play activities. A grand opening of the new park will take place August 3rd at 10:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The new playground has elements for preschoolers and elementary aged children.  Renovations to the park also includes swings, two picnic pavilions, a drinking fountain, fencing, benches, trash cans, resurfaced basketball court, basketball backboards, bike racks and ADA access. 

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company has an iconic red elephant as their logo and the new Webster Park uses a number of zoo animals as a theme including a red elephant.

Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks said, “The City of Lakeland was able to replace Webster Park’s playground equipment that was originally installed in 1994 with brand new equipment designed to enhance the experience for those visiting the park.”  She added, “We thank Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company for their generous donation to make the vision become reality.  We could not have completed the park without their assistance and as a thank you, the public will see the red elephant prominently displayed in a piece of playground equipment.  We also are very grateful to the Midtown CRA for their support as well.”


LAURIE SMITH NAMED MANAGER OF LAKES & STORMWATER

LAURIE SMITH NAMED MANAGER OF LAKES & STORMWATER

LAKELAND, FL (June 29, 2016) - The Public Works Department is pleased to announce that Laurie Smith has been named Manager of Lakes & Stormwater.  Smith has more than 20 years of experience in overseeing environmental compliance, construction management, and natural resource management programs.  Prior to joining the City of Lakeland, Smith began her career in 1995 as an environmental consultant for Marin Environmental, overseeing contaminated property assessment and redevelopment projects.

Smith worked for Kleinfelder from 2002 through 2012 as a Senior Project Manager overseeing environmental compliance and remediation programs.  She was the Florida Regional Manager for PM Environmental until 2013, when she joined the City of Lakeland as the Senior Environmental Specialist with the Lakes & Stormwater Division, where she oversaw programs necessary for compliance with the City’s stormwater discharge permit and coordinated stormwater capital improvement projects. 

Director of Public Works, Heath Frederick said, “Laurie has been serving as our Senior Environmental Specialist with the Lakes & Stormwater Division for the past three years.  She has done a great job leading projects and focusing on educational programs.”  He added, “With her education, background and institutional knowledge, we know that Laurie will continue to carry the Lakes & Stormwater division into the future.”

Smith said, “I am very excited to continue my career with the City of Lakeland as the next Lakes & Stormwater Division Manager and I look forward to carrying on the Divisions mission to maintain, protect, and enhance our lakes and stormwater systems.”  Smith has a Masters of Environmental Science from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Science from Southern Connecticut State University. Smith’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, hiking, fishing, and golfing.  Her start date was June 27th and her annual salary is $77,037.42.

-END-

 


LAKE MORTON SHORELINE STABILIZATION PROJECT 

INCLUDES AQUATIC PLANTS AND UPLAND PLANT SPECIES

 

 

LAKELAND, FL (June 16, 2016) - The City of Lakeland will be planting aquatic plants and grasses along an area of shoreline on Lake Morton as part of an ongoing shoreline stabilization plan.  Approximately 160 feet of shoreline on the southwest side of Lake Morton (across from E. Palmetto Street) is in need of immediate repair.

 

A low-profile fence that currently encloses a planting zone on the north shore of the lake is being dismantled and erected at the new planting area.  Due to an abundance of waterfowl on Lake Morton and the extremely high pressure on new plants, a green vinyl chain link perimeter fence will be installed for approximately one year. This perimeter fence is needed to ensure successful plant growth. 

 

Native aquatic and upland species of plants will be used as a natural shoreline stabilizer very similar to other areas around Lake Morton that have already been established.   A portion of the geofabric that is in place now will be removed so visitors around Lake Morton may see a piece of heavy equipment in the area for a few hours before the fence is installed.  The project will start in July and be completed by August 2016.  The approximate cost of the project is $3,000 and is being funded out of the City of Lakeland Stormwater Utility Fund. 

 

-END-