City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!


LAKELAND, FL (February 23, 2016) - Starting Monday, February 29th, the Lakeland Skatepark at Fletcher Park on Lake Bonny will close at 8 p.m.  The park’s new hours will be 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

City of Lakeland staff met with members from the Lakeland Skate Alliance on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 to discuss issues that are taking place at the park.  Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “We have fielded a number of complaints from parents regarding illicit behavior taking place after sundown.  We’ve had staff members that have been threatened when trying to enforce the rules.”  He added, “We met with representatives from the Lakeland Skate Alliance and the group is in concurrence that closing the park at dark is the first step in curbing the behavior.”

The Lakeland Skatepark is owned and operated by the City of Lakeland. It opened on May 18, 2013 at a cost of $1.3 million.  The 22,500-square-foot facility has quickly gained notoriety as being one of the best skateparks in Florida. Donahay said, “We designed the park to be free and user friendly with the idea that it would not have a full-time attendant.  Unfortunately, because of the bad behavior from a few, we are having to modify the hours of operation as a last resort before looking at the possibility of having a full-time attendant at the park.” Donahay elaborated, “With today’s budgeting process, we would have to charge users in order to pay the attendant.  We don’t want to do that and we are hoping the behavior will stop.”

This skate park is unsupervised and all users assume full risk in entering the facility. Helmets are required for all skaters under the age of 18 and on-site adult supervision is required for all skaters under the age of 12. Skaters are asked to adhere to the following rules and guidelines when using the Lakeland Skatepark:

  • Helmets and pads are required for anyone under the age of 18.
  • Be patient and wait for your turn in the park.
  • Be courteous to others.
  • Exercise caution in wet areas they are slippery.
  • Food or drink is not allowed in the skate able areas.
  • Illegal drugs, tobacco or alcohol are NOT allowed in the park.
  • Keep the park free of litter and graffiti.
  • Those using profanity, abusive language, or fighting will be asked to leave.
  • Skating is only allowed during the posted hours of operation. 




Emergency Training Exercise Happening At Lakeland Air Port

A full-scale emergency exercise, designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident, is being held here on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

More than 150 individuals from 15 agencies will gather to participate in the exercise. The scenario involves a commercial aircraft unable to make an emergency landing on runway 9 but instead lands in the Airport’s solar farm, a mile west of the approach end of runway 9. Emergency agencies in and around Polk County will respond to the simulated scenario. There will be signage along Drane Field Rd. indicating that a training exercise is in progress. There will be numerous vehicles and large apparatus entering and exiting Drane Field Rd. and Hamilton Rd. along the airport’s property, where the exercise will be taking place.

The community should be advised there is no need for concern.

Public Meeting Notice: Robson Street Sidewalk,
Drainage and Roadway Resurfacing Project

The City of Lakeland will conduct a Public Meeting on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm for the Robson Street Sidewalk Project. This project includes the construction of a 6 foot sidewalk along the north side of Robson Street between Pyramid Parkway and N Florida Avenue. The improvements also include adding pipes and drainage structures. The meeting will be held at the North Lakeland Elementary School of Choice cafeteria located at 410 Robson Street, Lakeland, Florida 33805.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. as an open-house. City staff and representatives from the project team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards depicting project concepts will be available throughout the meeting.

The public meeting is being conducted to present the 60% design plans for the Robson Street Sidewalk and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. 
Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or family status. Anyone requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or persons that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Mrs. Frances Halbert at at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. 

Project related information may also be obtained by contacting Mr. Josue Diaz, P.E., City of Lakeland Project Manager at (863) 834-6031, or by email to, or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at .

Free Junior Rules of Golf Symposium
With PGA Champions Tour Rules Official Joe Terry

Saturday, March 12 / 8AM -4PM/ Cleveland Heights Golf Course

This is a unique opportunity to learn about the Rules of the Game with practical on- course, ”hands on” situations with some of the leading experts on the Rules. This is a unique concept to get in touch with the Rules of Golf. This will be a day long exercise at no cost to Junior Golfers and Students. We will learn how to use the Rule Book and then go to the course for multiple stations and thoroughly work through the most common situations and mistakes in dealing with the Rules of Golf.

This event is free to all juniors but they must register in advance to reserve a spot to attend. This event is also open to adults that want to sharpen their Rules of Golf knowledge for a minimal charge of $20.00.

REGISTER for this event through the 
YMCA Par 3, Home of The First Tee of Lakeland 
Call: 863-577-0236
Or stop in to our facility: 1740 George Jenkins Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33815