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 (April 29, 2016) - The City of Lakeland has reached an agreement with Trinity Presbyterian Church located at 301 North Florida Avenue to utilize 60 paid parking spaces in the lot that faces Tennessee Avenue through a public/private solution to increase parking spots in downtown Lakeland. The City Commission is scheduled to vote on the agreement on May 2nd.  Once approved, the 60 parking spaces will be available to the general public starting May 9th.  


The Church will provide 60 parking spaces that the general public can use at the rate of $1/hour.  The City of Lakeland will provide enforcement, accounting, administration and a payment solution through the Park Mobile app available on all mobile platforms and through  Paid parking for the general public will be available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Parking will be FREE on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.


City Manager Tony Delgado said, “This is a great solution to increase the parking space inventory in downtown Lakeland.  It would cost taxpayers over $1 million to build a parking facility for 60 plus spaces.”  He added, “This public/private partnership is a much cheaper alternative so it is a win-win for both parties.”


Frank McCaulley, Director of Operations, Trinity Presbyterian Church said, “We have seen the demand for parking downtown grow remarkably without even reaching its peak. Partnering with the City of Lakeland allows us to use our parking and bless our neighbors with it. Our vision is “A City Transformed” and this partnership with the City is a step toward that vision. We are thankful for the City’s lead in managing the parking inventory for the benefit of all.”


The total upfront cost for the City of Lakeland is about $150 and the cost of enforcement is approximately $20 per day according to Angelo Rao, Manager of Traffic Operations for the City of Lakeland. Rao said, “We have been exploring various alternatives to add more parking to the downtown area because businesses and patrons have expressed their concerns.  This option creates much needed general public parking spaces at little or no cost to the City of Lakeland and Trinity Presbyterian Church benefits because of the 50/50 agreed upon split of the collected parking fees.”






LAKELAND, FL (March 16, 2016) - On Friday, April 22nd there will be a FREE Green Celebration in honor of Earth Day with a concert & showcase at the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror from 5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. There will be live music from the reggae band Redemption lead by front man Cliff Brown. 


The musical journey of Cliff “Redemption” Brown has been an amazing adventure. He has produced melodies that turned in to Grammy’s for Mary J. Blige and he has made platinum selling records for artists such as Jeezy and Rick Ross.  Brown has also fronted numerous bands and played guitar on tour with reggae legends such as Yellowman, Peter Metro and Admiral Tibbet.  Redemption fans can expect a musical blend where pop melodies meet conscious lyrics all while the beat is keeping the dance floor packed. Redemption is influenced by legendary artists such as Bob Marley, Frank Ocean, Bruno Mars, J Boog, Outkast and Sublime. The group promises to keep the rhythms coming with a musical blend of pop and reggae.


 The Green Celebration honors Earth Day, a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’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 Green Celebration. The Polk County School Board will showcase programs and earth friendly initiatives designed to promote a greener more sustainable future. The audience along with a panel of judges will decide on the most innovative school program that promotes a cleaner, greener environment. Past students have developed a number of innovating projects that included building their own skateboards, green houses built from plastic bottles, jewelry made from plastic grocery bags, clean water initiatives and of course great ideas on how to recycle.


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. 





Lakeland First Responders Prepare for Disaster Management

Lakeland First Responders Prepare for Disaster Management 

Lakeland, FL – Lakeland’s First Responders are preparing for future disasters at the Emergency Management Institute in Emittsburg, Maryland this week, gaining valuable knowledge in disaster management strategies. Representatives from the City of Lakeland include the Lakeland Fire Department’s Assistant Chief of Operations, Douglas Riley, Battalion Chiefs John Maddox and Mike Williams, Lakeland Police Department Captains Steve Walker and Hans Lehman, and the Lakeland Center’s Brandon Flynn. 

The Integrated Emergency Management Courses (IEMCs) are a four and half day exercise-based training activity that places Emergency Operations Center (EOC) personnel under realistic crisis situations within a structured learning environment. 

Lakeland’s First Responders are working alongside 68 colleagues representing all facets of Polk County government including the municipalities of Auburndale, Winter Haven, and Haines City to manage a hurricane scenario directly impacting Polk County. This scenario attempts to build awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures in an EOC to protect life and property through applications of sound emergency management principles. This learning opportunity comes at a great value as travel, lodging, and transportation is paid for entirely by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Ideally these skills will never be fully utilized, however natural and man-made disasters like hurricanes pose a serious threat to the State of Florida every year so it is prudent that Lakeland and greater Polk County Emergency Response agencies be prepared for the worst to protect its citizens . The Integrated Emergency Management Course serves to build upon lessons learned from Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, and Jean from 2004, making our community a safer place in which to live. The fictional “Hurricane Penny” is the focus of this course exercise. 


Downtown CSX Rail Crossings to Close Week of April 19th for Maintenance Work


CSX Transportation will be conducting maintenance work on its rail line through Downtown Lakeland that will require the closure of the following crossings, starting on Tuesday afternoon, April 19th:

· Ingraham Avenue
· Massachusetts Avenue
· Kentucky Avenue
· Missouri Avenue

These crossings will be closed at the same time, with construction planned to be completed by Friday, April 22nd.