City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

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



Kevin Cook

Director of Communications

City of Lakeland


Twitter @lakelandgov





LAKELAND, FL (November 2, 2012) -- Lakeland Electric has 24 linemen and 15 vehicles leaving at 4 a.m. on Saturday, November 3rd to assist the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in restoration efforts.  The New York utility serves 1.1 million customers and at the peak 945,000 were without power after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area.  LIPA lost 50 substations and 21 hospitals were without power after the storm.  As of today, LIPA still has over 500,000 customers without power and it is estimated that some may be without power for weeks.

Rick Bibby, Electric Delivery Operations Manager for Lakeland Electric said, “The line crews will be departing Lakeland early in the morning for the 1,200 mile trek to Hicksville, New York. Once there they will join other utilities from Florida and other states as far away as California to help the customers of the Long Island Power Authority.”  He added, “Lakeland has sent 55 contract tree trimmers to assist in the Long Island area earlier this week. We anticipate the restorations will take approximately two weeks.” 

Even though LIPA lists over 500,000 customers without power, officials with the utility estimate that there may be as many as 100,000 or so homes and businesses, mostly along Long Island's South Shore that have such extensive damage that service cannot be restored until private contractors repair or rebuild them. Michael Hervey, LIPA's Chief Operating officer said that in some cases, there are no structures left at all.

Lakeland Electric is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida.  The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889.  Today, power is generated at Lakeland Electric’s two primary base load plant sites, the 937-megawatt McIntosh Power Plant and the 124-megawatt Larsen Power Plant. Lakeland Electric’s total generation capacity is about 1,100 megawatts.



A Halloween costume will not disguise your drunk or drug impaired driving. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - one every 51 minutes.

Officers will increase their patrols to specifically look for drunk drivers on our roadways. The stepped up enforcement runs through Sunday, November 4th.

Halloween night is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 48 percent of highway deaths nationwide on Halloween night in 2010 involved a drunk driver.

The Lakeland Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween celebration:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober, ‘non drinking’ driver.
  • If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to report drunk drivers, Call 911.
  • And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. 

LAKELAND, FL (October 19, 2012) -- The City of Lakeland has just released a mobile app called Link2Lakeland that is on the Apple, Android and Windows platforms.  Link2Lakeland was developed by an in-house team comprised of members from the Department of Information Technology and the Communications Department.  

The app features a mobile version of the City’s Citizens Action Center that serves as a central communications point for citizens to report a concern, make a suggestion or ask questions.  If a user happens to see a broken sidewalk or pothole that needs to be repaired they can take a photo or use the set location feature to drop a pin that highlights exactly where the issue is located. 

The Link2Lakeland mobile app also features a community calendar that allows users to view upcoming events.  A user can click on an event for a brief description and the user can have the mapping feature display directions to the event.  There is also a list of frequently called numbers broken down by City Department. 

Mobile users can stay connected to the City of Lakeland’s social media networks through the Link2Lakeland app.  The City’s official FaceBook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel can be accessed very easily with the touch of the screen.  Citizen engagement makes Lakeland a better place and the community is encouraged to join the conversation through social media to learn what the City does each day and how they can play a part. The Link2Lakend app also allows smart phone users to follow the latest in City of Lakeland news with the LakelandGov Mobile news blog.  The most recent news posts are highlighted so citizens can stay informed on City initiatives and programs.

The iPhone app is available through the iTunes App Store and can be found by searching Link2Lakeland.  Android phone users can find the City of Lakeland’s app on the Google Play app store and Windows phone users can visit their game and app store to download Link2Lakeland.  Those with a smart phone are encouraged to stay informed and get connected through the Link2Lakeland mobile app.



Today, the City of Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.  The Bicycle Friendly America program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities, universities and businesses that actively support bicycling. 

Rick Perez, Senior Planner for the City of Lakeland said, “We received a request from the locaorganization, Bike Lakeland to apply for bike friendly status and the City Commission approved a resolution to pursue the designation soon after that.”  He added, “The Community Development Department worked with staff from Public Works, LPD and Parks and Recreation as well as the bicycling community and other agencies such as the School Board to complete the application.  It is exciting to know that Lakeland was designated as a Bronze level Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.”

Over the past 10 years, the League has worked with hundreds of engineers, government officials and bicycle advocates to identify the DNA of bicycle friendliness. Using that expert knowledge, the League evaluates communities on the following criteria: 

1.      Engineering: Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling

2.      Education: Programs that ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists

3.      Encouragement: Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire cycling

4.      Enforcement: Programs that ensure motorists and cyclists are held accountable

5.      Evaluation: Process that demonstrates a commitment to planning for the future

Celeste Deardorff, Long Range Planning Manager for the City of Lakeland said, “This award means that the City is being recognized for its continued commitment to cycling as a means of recreation and as a mode of transportation.  Lakeland is now among the few localities in Florida who have achieved such a level of recognition.”  She added,  “This award will help the City to attract avid bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and highlights one aspect of Lakeland’s quality of life that can be used in economic development and recruiting efforts by our local businesses, educators and others in our community.” 

In four years the community will be re-evaluated and based on that assessment, the City of Lakeland can either improve or lose the bike friendly designation. Deardorff said, “In order to maintain our award recognition and aspire to a new level, it will be important for Lakeland to enhance cycling initiatives by working with local enthusiasts, bicycle clubs and other partner organizations within the community.”

There is already a framework in place to improve Lakeland’s bike friendly status such as:

1.      Engaging the public and employers in cycling through leadership with bike to work days, ride with the Mayor/Commissioner events, promoting bike commuter programs, and creating a citizen advisory board to provide input on cycling projects and programs.

2.      Improving upon existing infrastructure with a trail network throughout the City and work closely with schools to create safe bike routes to school.

3.      Promote cycling as an economic development tool: Market Lakeland as a bicycling destination for tourism, conduct an economic impact study on bicycling in Lakeland, initiate a bike share program and attract more bicycle related events.

The Bike Friendly designation demonstrates that the City of Lakeland is committed to improving the safety, convenience, and enjoyment for all cyclists in the community whether they are recreational, commuter or sport riders.  The end result is a higher quality of life that furthers the City’s vision as a world class community and it helps attract those that enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.  Please visit for more information on Bike Friendly Communities.