City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.



LAKELAND, FL (January 20, 2012) -- The City of Lakeland is offering its 11th Annual Citizens Academy to area residents with the first session starting February 23, 2012.  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, one session per month. 

2012 Session Dates

February 23                History & Finance

March 22                     Police Department

April 26                       Fire Department

May 24                        Public Works & Planning

June 28                       Utility Services

July 26                        Parks & Recreation                

The program is limited to 25 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 the first session will meet 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.  At least 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.



Lakeland Camellia Society
30th Annual Camellia Show & Plant Sale
Saturday January 28, 2012
News release:
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 30th 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 28, 2011. 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                               


Saturation Patrol and Checkpoint planned for January 18 by Lakeland Police DUI Enforcement Unit and Traffic Unit

Members of Lakeland Police Department’s DUI Enforcement Unit and Traffic Unit will be conducting a Saturation Patrol and Checkpoint in the city on January 18, 2012.  There will be a checkpoint conducted in the 900 block of North Lincoln Avenue from 11:30 pm until 2:30 am. Saturation patrols will take place throughout the city prior to the checkpoint in an effort to reduce impaired driving and traffic fatalities in Lakeland. 

These efforts are part of the sustained Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest program sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Likewise, the goal of announcing these Saturation Patrols is to make people think twice about drinking and then driving.

The Lakeland Police Department asks you to use a designated driver, public transportation, a taxi or call a friend that has not been drinking to take you home.  There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks with friends, the problem is when your judgment becomes impaired and you make the choice to drink and drive.  Impaired driving by alcohol and drugs kills and injures thousands of innocent people a year and is a totally preventable crime.

Remember, if you are Over the Limit, you will be Under Arrest. 

SOS/DUI Enforcement Unit –  Saving lives daily by enforcing Impaired Driving Laws.

Contact:   Sergeant Chad Mumbauer      863-834-2500

The Lakeland City Commission met on Tuesday January 17th 2012 and took the following actions:

  • The Florida Federation of Garden Club Community service award & National Garden Club Award for Community Landscape Design were received by the City.
  • The Thomas Yatabe award from State Emergency Response Commission was received by the city.
  • Proclamations were presented honoring Arbor Day and Children’s Day.
  • A recommendation from the Real Estate& Transportation committee to vacate Right-of-Way within the Westlake Development located north of Ruby Street, south of Lake Beulah Drive, east of S. Webster Avenue and west of Hartsell Avenue, was approved.
  • An ordinance creating the City of Lakeland Firefighters’ Retirement System, was approved.
  • An assessment for $6,259.00 dollars for demolition of 710 N. Ohio Ave. was approved.
  • A service agreement with Kessler Consulting, Inc. for the not-to-exceed fee of $25,000 to administer the proposed Professional Services Agreement for procurement of Recyclables Materials Processing Services was approved.
  • A change order to the contract and agreement with Public Resource Management Group, Inc. for the not-to-exceed fee of $30,000 to review and update the Water and Wastewater Utilities revenue sufficiency analysis was approved.
  • Public hearings were scheduled for the next City Commission meeting as regards:
  • Conditional use to allow a community garden on property located at 1229 East Myrtle Street.
  • Conditional use to allow beer and wine sales as a complement to an existing retail business on property located at 229 North Kentucky Avenue
  • Zoning to allow residential units for the elderly with varying levels of care and support on property located at 5555 N. State Road 33.
  • Adopting the Florida Fire Prevention Code, 2010 Edition.
  • Amending the City of Lakeland Concurrency Management Ordinance.
  • Defined Contribution Plan (401a) and the Deferred Compensation plan (457)
  • The lease purchase of various equipment for the purpose of improving the energy efficiency of various facilities of the City in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $2,500,000,
  • Policies and procedures related to IRS Form 8038-G; Remediation of nonqualified bonds were approved.
  • A resolution indicating the commission’s intent with regard to future retiree benefit increases; to the extent there are cumulative actuarial gains experienced within the Plan, the Board of Trustees of the System may recommend a one-time additional benefit payment from the Plan’s assets in an aggregate amount between .01% and 50% of the cumulative actuarial gains, was approved.
  • A construction agreement with Wharton-Smith, Inc. for the City of Lakeland Water Utilities disinfection facilities upgrade was approved.
  • In final action agreements with Tampa Bay Trane for energy efficiency upgrades at various city parks and recreation facilities and The Lakeland Center were approved.