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

Have you ever seen a camellia bloom?  If you have, then you know its beauty is the best kept secret in the flower world.  If you have not seen this spectacular porcelain-like flower, you have an opportunity to see for yourself literally hundreds of camellia blooms in an amazing array of different colors, sizes, and varieties at the Lakeland Camellia Society’s 31th Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale.

The Lakeland Camellia Society will hold their annual one-day Camellia Show at North Lakeland Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship Hall, 6725 N. Socrum Loop Rd, Lakeland, Florida on Saturday, January 26, 2013.  It is open to the public for leisurely viewing from 1 to 5 pm. Mark your calendar now to come see the world’s best-kept flower secret.

The Fellowship Hall has ample free parking. Admission is free and the building is wheelchair accessible. 

Those wishing to enter blooms need not be members of any club or society.  Just bring your blooms to North Lakeland Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall between 7 and 9:30 am. The show is held under the rules of The American Camellia Society, which certifies the judges and establishes the categories so amateur and professional growers compete equally. Members of the Lakeland Camellia Society will be on hand to assist in placing blooms for judging, identifying blooms and answering any questions about Camellias, Lakeland Camellia Society, and The American Camellia Society.

The plant sale is scheduled from 12 pm to 5 pm unless sold out. There will be many different varieties of camellia plants on sale to help people get started or just add to their collections of camellias. 

LCS meets at 7:00 pm the second Tuesday of each month October through April in the City of Lakeland Tigertown Complex at Parks Field offices 2220 North Lake Avenue, Lakeland FL. 33805.

For more information, call John Shirah (863) 858-3789.

Mail inquiries should be sent to:

Lakeland Camellia Society
8220 Walt Williams Rd.
Lakeland, Florida 33809-0822.

Brian S. Dick
Show Chairman                              
Email –





LAKELAND, FL (January 10, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland is offering its 12th  Citizens Academy to area residents starting February 28, 2013.  The Citizens Academy is a free, hands-on, interactive public information program that familiarizes citizens with City services and the functions of City Departments.


The Lakeland Citizens Academy allows residents to get a behind the scenes look of how City government operates and it provides an outlet for citizen input. The program consists of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions. 


2013 Session Dates


February 28     History & Finance

March 7          Police Department

March 14        Fire Department

March 21        Public Works & Planning

April 4             Utility Services

April 11           Parks & Recreation                



The program is limited to 30 citizens aged 16 or older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  All participants interested in the Citizens Academy are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.


All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are from 6-8 p.m. and will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue (a light dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. during all sessions).  Three sessions will meet away from City Hall and directions will be given for each City building or facility that houses a Citizen Academy session.


The class will graduate with a certificate in “Governmentology”  at the end of the last session.  Those interested in participating should contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264 or to secure a spot on the roster.




All e-mail sent to and received from the City of Lakeland, Florida, including e-mail addresses and content, are subject to the provisions of the Florida Public Records Law, Florida Statute Chapter 119, and may be subject to disclosure.



LAKELAND, FL (January 9, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that Shane Reynolds has been named Rescue Chief at the Lakeland Fire Department.  Reynolds first started in fire service in 1994 when he served as a volunteer for Polk County Fire Rescue.  He has been with the Lakeland Fire Department since 1995 and he was promoted to Lieutenant in 2004.  Reynolds continued his medical training and became a paramedic in 2005.  Since then, he developed a leadership training program for the Fire Department and has instructed in various locations around the state of Florida. 


As Rescue Chief, he will be responsible for administrative work that ensures the readiness of medical personnel assigned to the Fire Department’s emergency medical units. His duties will include the coordination of Fire Fighter physicals and infection control; the management of quality assurance and improvement standards; and he will oversee the Department’s Advanced Life Saving program and all associated supervisory activities.


Reynolds said, “This is very exciting and I’m truly honored to be entrusted with this great opportunity.  I have been working toward this goal for a long time and I’m looking forward to advancing the Department’s rescue services.”  Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “Reynolds is our obvious choice for this position.  He has a great passion for Fire Rescue Services and his continued leadership around the Department is evident.”


Reynolds is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at Polk State College.  He holds Associate Degrees in Fire Science Technologies and Emergency Medical Services.  He is also certified as a Life Safety Inspector I, Instructor II and Fire Officer I.  He is married to his wife Rachel and they have a three-year-old daughter.  He is 38 years-old and he volunteers at Jerry’s Kid Camp for children with muscular dystrophy.

The Lakeland City Commission unanimously voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers 55 cents per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after January 2, 2013.  The new fuel charge will be $42.25 per 1,000 kWh. 

After listening to a presentation at the December 17, 2012 Utility Committee meeting, staff recommended a decrease to the current fuel charge based on fuel forecasts for the upcoming year.  Although natural gas prices have increased slightly, there has been a decrease in coal costs and milder temperatures that have resulted in reduced demand for electricity.


Current                                                        New Rates – Effective January 2, 2013

Base Charge   $  59.31                                   $  59.31 (includes environmental charges)

Fuel Charge    $  42.80                                   $  42.25 (includes fuel increase)

TOTAL:           $102.11                                   $101.56

The base rate includes environmental compliance charges that are directly related to federal and state initiatives regarding clean air and water mandates. Most of the expenses are related to energy production and include air emission controls, water quality monitoring and capital spending for equipment necessary to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act. 

Lakeland Electric bills are broken out for customer convenience in detail to show the base charge, fuel charge and appropriate taxes and service charges.  The fuel charge on a utility bill is exactly that, the actual costs for fuel used to generate the amount of electricity used within your residence.  Most utilities subscribe to the same billing practice and break out the base rate and the fuel charge for their customers. There is no mark-up in fuel.  In fact, fuel is a straight pass-through charge to customers. 

Based on Florida Municipal Electric Association data, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates after the January 2, 2013 fuel charge decrease will be the second lowest in the state and the lowest in Florida for the large commercial and industrial users.

Visit for more information and to see a residential rate comparison.