City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.


 Presented by Members of The Coalition for a Drug-Free Polk

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Lakeland, FL – StandUP Polk and local law enforcement agencies are proud to join The Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, for citizens who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Our community’s Spring Purge Your Pills Rx Drop Off will include 8 locations in Polk County for citizens to turn in unused, expired, or unwanted Human and Pet Medications for safe and proper disposal. Medications should be placed in a clear, air-tight plastic bag. 

Drop-off locations on April 28th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm are:

  • Auburndale Police Department – 2 Bobby Green Plaza, Auburndale
  • Davenport Police Department – 17 Market Street, Davenport 
  • Florida Dept. of Transportation – 801 North Broadway Ave., Bartow – Hosted by Bartow Police Dept. 
  • Haines City Police Department – 35400 Highway 27, Haines City
  • Lake Alfred Police Department – 190 North Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred
  • Lake Wales Police Department - 133 East Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales 
  • Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland
  • Winter Haven Police Department – 125 North Lake Silver Drive NW, Winter Haven

Previous prescription medication collections held in Polk County in spring and fall 2010 and spring 2011 have resulted in nearly 1,700 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals. All medications were safely disposed of via incineration. 

For folks unable to attend on April 28th, unwanted medications may also be taken to the county’s permanent drop site, located at the Winter Haven Police Department, 125 North Lake Silver Drive NW, in Winter Haven, weekdays between 9 AM and 5 PM. Medications may also be safely disposed of at home in the following manner: Dissolve medications in water, and mix with coffee grounds or cat litter. Then, pour into a zip lock bag and put in your trash. Do not dump any medications into the toilet or your trash, to avoid harming our lakes and ground water.  

For more information on the local Pill Drop event or locations, please contact StandUP Polk at (863) 802-0777.

- Inneract Alliance –

Starting Monday April 2, 2012, Lakeland Electric will be closing portions of Ingraham Avenue from McDonald Street to US 98 South and portions of McDonald Street near Ingraham Avenue from April 2 to April 27, 2012 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

The closure will allow Lakeland Electric employees enough room to relocate electric power poles and overhead electric power lines along Ingraham Avenue.  These closures ensure the safety for Lakeland Electric line workers and the public along the construction area.

This work is necessary to continue to provide electricity safely and reliably to Lakeland Electric customers.  A message board has been installed to advise those already using this route of the pending closure.  Traffic will be clearly routed by the appropriate signs and barricades to assist with an orderly flow of traffic.  Questions should be directed to Lakeland Electric’s Project Manager at 863/834-6311.

The Lakeland City Commission voted to decrease the fuel charge for Lakeland Electric customers $5.60 per 1,000 kWh effective for meters read on or after April 2, 2012.  The new fuel charge will be $38.60 per 1,000 kWh.  Starting April 2, 2012 Lakeland Electric residential customers will pay $98.12 for 1,000 kWh of electricity.

After listening to a staff presentation at the March 19, 2012 Utility Committee Meeting, the Lakeland Electric Utility Committee recommended to decrease the current fuel charge based on favorable natural gas prices.  The City Commission reconvened and unanimously approved the recommendation. 


Current               New Rates – Effective April 2, 2012

Base Rate        $ 59.52                                   $ 59.52

Fuel Charge    $ 44.20                                   $ 38.60

TOTAL:            $103.72                                  $ 98.12

As of April 2, 2012, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates will be the third lowest in the state for residential customers and the lowest in Florida for all commercial accounts in all of the commercial rate classes.

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 to customers. 

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

On Thursday March 15th the Lakeland Fire Department received a call to a structure fire at 2602 Tennessee Rd. Eight units from stations one, two, three and four were dispatched at 7:15 pm and arrived on the scene at 7:20 pm.

The responding team consisted of seventeen fire personnel of three fire engines, two rescue units, one heavy rescue unit and a battalion chief.  

When units arrived they found a home partially engulfed in flames. Chief Jeff Wharton took charge of the scene and assigned teams to extinguish the fire, perform search and rescue, water supply, and rapid intervention.

In a wooded neighborhood surrounded by other homes, mobile homes and trailers, in close proximity; LFD was able to bring the initial blaze under control within a few minutes, containing the incident to the original structure. This helped quell the fears of neighbors who had gathered anticipating that the fire might spread.

A trouble truck from Lakeland Electric was also on scene to insure the safety of any electrical service to the home.

At approximately the same time units from stations two, three and six were dispatched to another structure fire on Trenton Rd that turn out to be a false call. The members of the Lakeland Fire Department, and other city departments, continue their dedication to making our city a safer place to live.