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!



LAKELAND, FL (January 4, 2017) - The City of Lakeland is in the process of taking applications for the 2017 Lakeland Citizens Academy. This interactive public information program encourages participants to experience City services and the functions of City departments through hands-on sessions for a true learning experience. This FREE program was designed for local residents and those that participate get a true behind the scenes look at their local government.  

The Citizens Academy program consists of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions beginning February 23, 2017 and runs through the first week of April. The program is limited to 30 residents age 16 and older. Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 2017 Citizens Academy will be a great program starting with a tutorial on City budgeting and finance, followed by a historical overview of the community. During the 2017 Citizens Academy, participants will get to experience the tools of the trade at both of the City’s public safety divisions. Citizen Academy cadets will learn more about City Planning, get a chance to tour Lakeland Electric’s generating facility and get an inside look at future projects from the City’s award winning Parks & Recreation Department.


  • February 23rd - History & Finance
  • March 2nd - Police Department
  • March 9th - Fire Department
  • March 16th - City Planning/Economic Development
  • March 30th - Lakeland Electric
  • April 6th - Parks & Recreation 

The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to familiarize citizens with Lakeland’s City government. The program provides an overview of City Departments, explains the relationship between the City Commission and City Administration, allows an overview of the budgetary process and it provides an outlet for citizen involvement. This year’s class will also get the chance to preview the City’s new website and assist with valuable input that will help optimize the website for the best user experience!


Participants are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.  

  • All sessions are from 6 pm - 8 pm.
  • The first meeting will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland. 
  • A light meal is always served at 5:45 pm before each session, so participants are encouraged to get there a little early.
  • Citizens interested in participating should contact Christina Camp at to secure a spot on the roster. Please include a home mailing address and contact information in the email. 

LAKELAND, FL (January 3, 2017) - Don Selvage will not be seeking re-election for a third term as Lakeland City Commissioner representing the Southwest District. Selvage was first elected to the Lakeland City Commission in 2009. He currently chairs the Aging Task Force and the Broadband Task Force. He is a member of the Utility Committee and Municipal Boards & Committees. He also serves on the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District Board, Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, SUN 'n FUN Board, Polk Transit Authority, and the Transportation Planning Organization.

“It has been a high honor to work for the residents of Lakeland and I’m extremely grateful for the community’s support during my tenure on the commission. I’ve had the privilege of serving with many distinguished elected officials, whose commitment to this City has never been in doubt,” said Selvage. “The dedicated civil servants who work for the City of Lakeland have been supportive of me and exceptionally responsive to constituent issues. It is their passion for excellence that makes Lakeland great.”

Selvage served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring as a colonel before coming to Lakeland in 1999. He is the owner of SHR Human Resources, LLC. He continues to be active in many civic and professional organizations. Selvage holds a degree in Political Science from Ohio State University and advanced degrees in Administration and National Security Affairs from Central Michigan University and Salve Regina College respectively.

Selvage’s tenure with the Lakeland City Commission will end December 2017 after eight years of dedicated service to the community. Selvage said, “Although I will be leaving elected office, my wife, Rita and I intend to remain engaged in community affairs where we hope to be able to contribute in some way to this vibrant, wonderful City. I will be 70 years old when my term ends with the Lakeland City Commission and that will be a good time to start thinking about a new chapter of my life.” 


Don Selvage, Commissioner |



LAKELAND, FL (December 21, 2016) - The City of Lakeland Waste Water Utility in accordance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is reporting that approximately 1,200 gallons of untreated waste water spilled at 3242 New Tampa Highway because of a broken check valve at the pump station. The incident was discovered at 8 p.m. on December 20th. The event was terminated at 10:05 p.m. The area around the site was washed down and the wash water was vacuumed. No property damage reported. Sheet flow from pump station does enter storm drains. It is unknown but these drains could flow to an unnamed ditch which feeds the Itechapackasassa River. Public should refrain from swimming in the affected waters until testing can be completed. City of Lakeland will be doing the testing.


Name of reporting party: Richard Ruede

Installation Name: Lakeland Water Utilities

Installation Address: 1825 Glendale Street

Installation Location: Lakeland, Florida

Contact person for further information: Robert Conner, Rick Ruede

Permit Number (if facility/installation holds a permit): FL0039772

Date and time of the incident or discovery: 8:00 PM, 20 December, 2016

Location of the incident or discovery: 
3242 New Tampa Highway

Suspected source and cause of incident or discovery: 
Broken (Hole in side of valve) Check Valve at Pump Station.

Type of pollution, including substance or contaminant name(s): Untreated Wastewater

Amount of pollution, including substance or contaminant name(s): 1,200 Gallons

Medium (e.g. land, water, air) affected by pollution: 

Potentially affected areas beyond installation property boundary:
 Sheet flow from station across parking lot entering storm drains. Unknown but believe these drains flow to an unnamed ditch which feeds the Itechapackasassa river - US Waters.

Potential risk to the public health, safety, or welfare:
 People should refrain from swimming in the affected waters until testing can be completed. City of Lakeland will be doing the testing.

Identification of other parties notified of incident and time notification occurred: State Warning Point Incident # 2016-9433, Katie Castor – FDEP and Laurie Smith – COL Lakes and Stormwater via this e-mail

There are six holidays that potentially impact collection schedules:  New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  See below for the upcoming holidays and how the holiday will affect your service.  You can always find the full, up-to-date Holiday collection schedule here.  


Saturday, December 24th & Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Offices will be closed Friday, December 23rd & Monday, December 26th.

No changes to normally scheduled collection days.

New Year's Day

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Offices will be closed Monday, January 2nd, 2017.

No changes to normally scheduled collection days.