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

Lakeland, Fla. – Lakeland Electric won big in the Twelfth Annual Florida Lineman Competition, in which 18 lineman teams and 33 apprentices from Florida’s municipal electric utilities, electric cooperatives, and Patrick Air Force Base demonstrated the skills involved in one of America’s most dangerous jobs.

The Lakeland Electric journeyman team of Dwayne Goostree, Justin Devaisher, and Matt Thomas won first place in the Cut-out and Arrestor Change, the Cross Arm Change out, and the Conductor Tie-In, capturing a second place overall finish. In addition, Lakeland Apprentices Samuel Brown and Doug Bergwall won first and third place respectively in the overall apprentice competition.

Linemen competed on two levels:  journeyman and apprentice.  Journeyman teams included three people – two climbers and a ground person, while apprentice line workers competed on an individual basis.  A qualified journeyman has more than four years experience within the electric utility trade.  Apprentice line workers have four or fewer years of experience.

Designed to highlight safe utility operations, the event – presented by Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and hosted by Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) – put the technical and physical skills of utility workers to the test in a crowd-pleasing display of skill and teamwork. Hundreds gathered at the GRU Eastside Operations Center and watched as journeyman teams and apprentices competed in challenges simulating day-to-day operations. 

Electric line work is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, and a lapse in judgment or a physical slip-up can mean serious injury or even death.  Prior to the competition, lineworkers participated in a series of technical training workshops.

The annual event gives highly trained linemen teams and apprentices statewide the opportunity to learn more about their trade in specialized workshops, while interacting and sharing ideas with their peers by observing safety skills and techniques used by other linemen during the competition.

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



 FL (April 2, 2012) -- On Friday, April 2Oth there will be a Free Green Celebration in honor of Earth Day with a concert & showcase at the Lake Mirror Promenade from 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. There will be live music from the Sofa Kings along with a variety of exhibits promoting green living initiatives.

The Sofa Kings provide an entertaining mix of dance, pop and rock with groovy antics to entertain. The band grooves audiences into a soulful mood like no other and they are a perfect fit to celebrate the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day.  Their music includes songs from the Beatles, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Buffett intertwined with the hits from the 70’s, 80’s and the 90s.

The Green Celebration honors Earth Day, a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for theEarth's natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.  Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and it is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.  In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day.

There will be a number of exhibits and vendors that will have displays at the event.  The Polk County School Board will also participate showcasing various school programs and earth friendly initiatives designed to promote a greener more sustainable future.

The Green Celebration invites the Lakeland community to attend the free event.  Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy the festivities as we celebrate Earth Day.  Participants are encouraged to recycle, reclaim, reuse and ride a bike. 

The event is sponsored in part by the City of Lakeland, Magnify Credit Union, Greenovative Design & Engineering/Greenovative Homes and American Compliance Technologies.


At the City Commission meeting held April 2, 2012 the Lakeland City Commission presented Beautification Awards to the residence at 3304 Innisbrook Dr. and the commercial property at 719 N. Massachusetts.

Employee Service Awards were presented to:

  • Jacquelyn Adkinson, Chad Hotchkiss, Christopher Leggett, Heath Seeber, James Tanner Jr. for 10 Years of service.
  • Timothy Keeney, and Melinda Morris for 20 years.
  • David Brice, David Doty, Tracy Grice, Robert Guion Jr., Terry Hamilton, Valerie Highsmith, Lloyd Holmes, Robert Jaroszeski, Michael Platt, Douglas Riley and David Smith for 25 years.
  • William LePere for 30 Years.

Proclamations were presented in recognition of :

Child Abuse Prevention Month, Community Development Week, Donate Life Month, Fair Housing Month, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, National Volunteer Week. Sertoma Month, Volunteer Appreciation Month and Water Conservation Month.

Michael Simms and Richard Vick were appointed to the Beautification Board.

Todd Baylis was appointed to the Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency Board.

An amendment to the city code establishing fees for reviewing petition signatures was defeated.

An amendment to the city code affecting the police officers’ defined benefit retirement fund was postponed.

The section of Providence Road which is on the North side of I-4, just east of the Sports Authority, was renamed Betz Place.

The one year action plan for CDBG and HOME grant programs was approved.

A total of $27,348.80 in assessments for Lot Clearings at 93 properties throughout the city were approved.

Properties at 609 and 613 N. Vermont Avenue and 728 Peachtree Street which are owned by the City Community Redevelopment Agency were conveyed to Parker Street Ministries, Inc. for rehabilitation and sale as single family affordable housing.

The voluntary annexation of 24.33 acres located north and east of the current city limit line, south of Old Tampa Highway and west of Wilkerson Road was postponed.

Public Hearings were scheduled for the April 16th City Commission meeting for a daycare on property located at 1030 Olive Street , a Banquet Hall and an Alcoholic Beverage License on Property Located at 215 East Main Street, conditional use for the Boys & Girls club at 950 Pinewood Avenue, and at Girls Incorporated at 1220 West Highland Street and amendments to the Land Development Regulations for building bulk, fences and walls, and landscaping.

In final action a portion of Crevasse Street, east of N. Rd 98 was renamed “Lakeland Park Center Drive”.

Red Trail Racing of Lakeland will host the Urban Mountain Bike Criterium in downtown Lakeland on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.  The registration and head table for the event will be in front of City Hall on Lemon Street.

Ray Wells, promoter of the event said, “There is no other mountain bike event like this in the country that we are aware of.  In fact, I am not aware of any other urban mountain bike race in the nation.” 

The Urban Criterium is a mountain bike race on asphalt and stairs that winds through the Iowa Street Parking garage and along Lemon Street in front of City Hall.  Spectators are admitted free and can view the outlined course from designated positions. 

The Iowa Avenue Parking Garage will be closed because it is part of the race course. The portion of Iowa Avenue between Lakeland’s City Hall and Lakeland Electric will be closed and a portion of Lemon Street will be closed to through traffic at Massachusetts Avenue.

Back by popular demand is the thrilling Street 2X Speed Trials competition that takes place between each urban mountain bike heat race.  Wells said, “The Street 2X is a great spectator event as racers compete on identical courses with various obstacles and ramps in two separate lanes.” The first racer to complete the obstacles and make it to the finish line is the winner.  Spectators are rewarded with some amazing acts of balance and lots of big airs as the cyclist launch themselves over the multiple ramps on the 2X course.

Visit for more information and to register for the Lakeland Urban Mountain Bike Criterium and the Street 2X Speed Trials.