City News Blog


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

At the City Commission meeting held Tuesday, July 18, 2011 the following items were addressed.

The members of the City’s Fleet Management Division were honored for their recent recognition by Government Fleet Magazine as one of the top 100 Best Fleets in the country. The Lakeland crew ranked at number 25!

A proclamation was presented recognizing National Parents’ Day

A Lease Amendment with Gulf Coast Avionics was approved.

Requests to vacate portions of Right-of-Ways located at Sharon Drive, Breezewood Drive, Woodland Drive and Hopewell Avenue were approved.

Comprehensive Plan Amendments concerning the Certification Area Illustration and the Local Mobility Plan were approved.

City residential land use on 18 Acres Located on South Ariana Street, West of Westgate Road was approved.


Land use and zoning for a church and school at 4210 Lakeland Highland Rd. were approved.


Over $20,000 in liens for demolition of unsafe properties were approved.


An ordinance urging retailers to refrain from marketing flavored tobacco products to under aged youth was approved.


Task Authorization with CH2M Hill, Inc. for Water Quality Sampling - Larsen Power Plant was approved.


A fire protection mutual aid agreement between Lakeland and Polk County’s Fire Departments was approved.


To view any of these items on video-on-demand visit

This month's i² film Club selection, ALAMAR (Mexico), will be shown in the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library Meeting Room (1700 North Florida Avenue) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 23rd.

Film synopsis: Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son Natan before he leaves to live with his mother in Rome. Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef, and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman's life. As the bond between father and son grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea.

Please note: this full length independent film may be more suitable for adults. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles and runs for 73 minutes. More information about ALAMAR can be found at the following websites: and

The i² film Club is a free film viewing and discussion group at the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library. The club’s focus is on watching and discussing international independent films. The i² film Club meets the fourth Saturday of each month at 10:30 am at the Jackson Branch Library (1700 North Florida Avenue). Refreshments are provided and each showing is followed by a guided discussion.

The programs at the Jackson Branch Library (1700 North Florida Avenue) are free and open to the public. For more information, call Brenda J. Patterson at (863) 834-4276 or send e-mail to . For viewing schedule and film descriptions, please visit Lakeland Public Library’s newly revamped website at


Upcoming i² film club titles


On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. Sergei, a gruff professional in his fifties, takes his job very seriously. His new partner, bright eyed college grad Pavel, retreats to his MP3 player and video games to avoid Sergei's imposing presence. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei from HQ. Intimidated, Pavel can't bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea.

At the City Commission meeting held Tuesday, July 5, 2011 Airport Director Gene Conrad delivered an update on commercial and general aviation activities.

Beautification awards were presented to: 817 Mississippi Ave. owner Anthony Guinn for his residence and the commercial category went to Boring Business Equipment located at 950 E. Main St.

Former City Commissioner, Jim Verplanck, LSCI President Honored Harrison School of the Arts Graduate Russell Mank. Mank was the National Grand Prize Winner in the Sister Cities International 2011 Young Artists Showcase.

Employee service awards were presented to Richard Carroll, Gary Edwards, Kathie Heltzel and Anita Wells for 10 years of service.

Phillip Copeland was recognized for 20 years of service.

Keith Churchill, Bambi Smith, and James Studiale were acknowledged for 25 years.

Nina Driggers and Tamra Riley were recognized for 30 years and Cynthia Webb for 40 years of service.

The commission approved the issuance by the City of no more than $90,000,000 of its hospital revenue refunding bonds, for a loan or loans by the City to Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Inc. (LRMC) This is in order to reduce debt service obligations of LRMC under the financing agreement, to fund any necessary reserves, and to pay certain costs of issuance of the Bonds, all as provided in the Trust Agreement.

Proposed Changes for the Williams Development of Regional Impact were continued to the July 18th commission meeting.

$15,460.47 in lot clearing liens were approved.

Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LLRA) General Liability Insurance Modification was approved.


Land use and zoning for a church and school at 4210 Lakeland Highlands Road were approved.


Also approved was an agreement with FDOT to provide sidewalks on Lakeland Highlands Road from Deerfield Drive to North of Polk Parkway.


In Lakeland Electric related matters, a task authorization with Chastain Skillman for a fire protection system design, a lease for maintenance and repair of electric distribution facilities with Publix Supermarkets, Inc. and a short list of firms to provide engineering services in support of a management/supervisory control and data acquisition system were all approved in final action.


To view any of these items on video-on-demand




Local artist Russell Mank, a recent Harrison School of the Arts graduate, was announced as the 2011 National GRAND PRIZE WINNER at the National Young Artists & Authors Showcase sponsored by Sister Cities International, Washington, DC.  Mank will be officially recognized by the City of Lakeland at a July 5th City Commission meeting.

His piece entitled Green Future is slated to tour throughout the United States as part of the Young Artist Showcase.  Mank won $1,000 cash and another $400 towards travel to the Sister City conference in California where the showcase works of art are now on display.  The winning art and literature pieces are scheduled to tour the United States for a year with announced stops in San Diego, California, Dayton, Ohio and Suffolk, Virginia.  New stops will be introduced as part of the 2012 portion of the art tour.

This year’s international showcase, themed “Shaping your Community for a Greener Future”  was an opportunity for 13 - 18 year-old artists to utilize recycled materials or other 2D media to illustrate the ways they, their community, or their sister city are working to protect the local environment.  A panel of judges selected the five US winners and five international winners based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation.

 Mank said this about his award winning art work, “This piece of art comments on the modern movement for greener automotive technology.”  He added, “It is a collage of old and new design materials with a soil element that became the base from which new greener technology will bloom.”  A prominent sunflower captures the eye on Mank’s piece of art which he says represents a green future.

Mank also won a $1,000 college scholarship through Lakeland Sister Cities International in a separate award this year.  He plans to attend Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, to pursue an advertising career.

Since 1988, the Sister Cities International Young Artists Showcase has encouraged youth around the globe to express their interpretation of their mission, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, cooperation through one individual, one community at a time.