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

Public Meeting Notice for Proposed Seawall at Lake Hollingsworth

The City of Lakeland will conduct a Public Meeting to receive citizens’ comments on a proposed seawall installation at Lake Hollingsworth. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Room A, located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland 33801.

The proposed location of the seawall is immediately adjacent to the public boat ramp on Lake Hollingsworth and will extend westward to the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club and eastward to the public concrete dock. The intent of the project is to stabilize the shoreline area adjacent to the boat ramp and prevent further erosion of the lake’s banks.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in an open-house format, where City staff and representatives from the project team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards and other visual aids depicting project concepts will be available throughout the meeting. The public meeting is being conducted to present the enhancement alternatives and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. 

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or family status. Anyone requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or persons that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Curtis Porterfield at at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.

Project-related information may also be obtained by calling (863) 834-8439, or by following the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at .


Event Supports Major League Baseball’s “Play Ball” Initiative

Lakeland, FL – The Lakeland Flying Tigers have teamed up with Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs and the City of Lakeland to host local youth during a free baseball clinic as part of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) support of Major League Baseball’s “Play Ball” initiative, which focuses on the fun nature of baseball and encourages widespread participation in related activities. During the month of August 2015, or “Play Ball Month,” mayors are implementing the initiative throughout cities with the goal of strengthening the connection between communities and the National Pastime. 
The free clinic will take place at Joker Marchant Stadium on Saturday, August 8 from 
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and is open to kids ages 5-12.  Kids will learn fundamentals from Flying Tigers players and participate in skills challenges on the field.  Lunch will be provided following the clinic compliments of the Detroit Tigers Foundation of Florida. 
        Mayors across the country are hosting similar activities to engage citizens, families, and city departments to organize individual and community events (such as playing catch, running bases in the backyard, family gatherings, park and recreation activities, business-supported activities, etc.). These activities will be focused on strengthening bonds between families and communities with baseball through baseball-related activities. 
“The National Play Ball program has enormous value for our community and represents some of the best things in our country: Our national past-time–baseball, cooperation between many groups to serve citizens, and a focus on healthy family fun,” Mayor Wiggs said.  “I believe that this will be the first of many years for a great community event. My thanks to Ron Myers and The Tigers, and to Bob Donahay and his team.” 
This component of the Play Ball initiative focuses on recruiting a minimum of one city in as many of the 50 states as possible to promote and support “Play Ball Month” through baseball related activities. Primary targets are cities with Major League and Minor League Baseball clubs, although the initiative toolkit and self-reporting strategy will be electronically distributed to hundreds of cities across the country, with the assistance of Major League Baseball. Local leaders and citizens will report their activities to via PlayBall. org serves as the initiative’s online home and is accessible via, and other partner websites. Coaching tips and video demonstrations will be a prominent component of the site. also provides parents, coaches and kids with information on how to get involved with Play Ball activities, links to youth-related news and events, and searchable maps with links on how to join community baseball leagues. Health and safety information, including the Pitch Smart initiative, also will be available. 
        The Flying Tigers are a Class A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.  For more information please visit the Flying Tigers online or call 863-686-8075. 

Lakeland Electric General Manager Elected Secretary-Treasurer of FMEA Board of Directors

(Tallahassee, FL) – Members of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) have elected Joel Ivy, General Manager for Lakeland Electric, as secretary-treasurer of the organization’s board of directors. 

FMEA represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provides electricity to nearly 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers. 

“Board members participate in regular meetings held across the state and are charged with setting the overall direction of the organization,” said Barry Moline, FMEA’s executive director.  “Joel has established himself as a strong leader on utility issues not only in Lakeland, but throughout the state of Florida.  We’re honored to have him serve as our secretary-treasurer.”

“I am pleased to be chosen to serve as an elected member on FMEA’s board.  This organization is helping our state’s electric industry stay at the forefront of the nation by keeping its members informed on legislative issues and providing safety, training and customer service resources,” said Ivy.

He added, “Vince Lombardi once said, ‘The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.’  Through FMEA, individual municipal utilities located across Florida are working together to assure that our priorities remain focused on the consumer.”

Mr. Ivy has an extensive professional career in the power industry that began almost 30 years ago when he started as a lineman in 1983.  He has had a steady career path that includes climbing utility poles to managing multi-hundred million dollar operations with start-ups, investor owned and publicly owned utilities. Past experience includes his tenure as Chief Operating Officer at Visible Light Solar Technologies and Vice President of New Mexico Operations for Public Service Company of New Mexico, an investor owned utility with almost 500,000 customers. Mr. Ivy has been General Manager for Lakeland Electric for the last three years.

Other officers elected to the FMEA board include President Mike New of Newberry; President-Elect Clay Lindstrom of Fort Pierce; and Vice President Chip Merriam of Orlando. 

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provides electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications + 863.834.6264
Twitter@lakelandgov +,FL

Kathleen Wallen
Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
+ 863.687.1122


City of Lakeland and Lakeland Regional Health Announce Proposed Lease Amendment

Lakeland, FL – Administrative leadership at the City of Lakeland (the City) and Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) announced today that they have reached an agreement on a proposed sixth amendment to the Lease and Transfer Agreement between the two entities.

Following deliberations by the Lakeland City Commission during the FY 2015 Budget process, LRH’s annual lease payment was capped at $12.9 million for two years. The City and LRH agreed to conduct negotiations to explore long-term alternatives to the payment terms of the current Lease and Transfer Agreement. The proposed amendment is subject to approval by the Lakeland City Commission and the Lakeland Regional Health Board of Directors.

The proposed amendment is for a term of 25 years, which adds an additional seven years to the current Lease and Transfer Agreement that was set to expire on October 1, 2033. The amendment provides a lump sum of $15,000,000 to be paid to the City by LRH on October 1, 2015. Additionally, annual lease payments will be made in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016 through the fiscal year ending September 30, 2040.

The lease payment for the first year of the proposed amendment will be $13,254,750 and increases by 2.75% per year through the duration of the agreement. Lease payments will be made in equal quarterly payments, beginning on October 1, 2015.

In fiscal year beginning October 1, 2036, the City and LRH will enter into negotiations for a 25-year extension of the proposed Lease and Transfer Agreement. At any time during the lease negotiation period, but no later than October 1, 2037, the City may notify LRH that it intends to sell the hospital. LRH has the opportunity to purchase the hospital at fair market value as determined by a nationally recognized health care appraisal firm mutually agreed to by the City and LRH. If a purchase agreement is reached, a credit against the purchase price for all rent and payments made since inception of the lease on October 1, 1986 would be applied.

Doug Thomas, Lakeland City Manager, said, “Our administration is keenly focused on finding innovative solutions to provide the very best services possible to the citizens of the City of Lakeland. The proposed amendment is a win-win for our community. The lump sum payment provides the City with the opportunity to invest in our future and appropriately plan for a successor lease in 2037. Quarterly lease payments will enable both the City and LRH to better forecast and develop budgets based on known income and expenses.” He added, “We appreciate the strong partnership we have with LRH and believe the fruition of our negotiations respects desired outcomes envisioned in the original Lease and Transfer Agreement and provides stability for both parties over the next 25 years.” 

Elaine Thompson, PhD, FACHE, President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health said of the arrangement, “We appreciate all of the time, hard work and earnest discussions held with City administration on this matter. The predictability of lease and additional payments as provided by the proposed lease amendment positions our not-for-profit organization to make the financial investments necessary to improve patient safety and experience, while delivering nationally recognized, essential healthcare services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, at our Medical Center.”

About the City of Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City of Lakeland owns and operates Lakeland Electric, a full service municipal utility servicing over 120,000 customers with some of the most economically priced electricity in the state of Florida. Lakeland Electric is the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago. To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit


About Lakeland Regional Health

Lakeland Regional Health, a not-for-profit, community-based organization serving Polk County and adjacent areas, provides a wide range of healthcare services at its Medical Center, Cancer Center and ambulatory care campuses. As an 851-bed, comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center operates a Level II Trauma Center, a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the state’s busiest single site Emergency Department. It handles over 1,300 trauma visits annually and holds accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center. Lakeland Regional Health is transforming the future of healthcare by offering patients the highest quality of care with the lowest possible cost through the use of innovation, technology and evidence-based best practices. For more information about these facilities and services, go to


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