City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

Election Team Hits the Road for Registration Deadline

POLK COUNTY, FL (October 1, 2015) – The last day to register to vote for the November 3rd municipal elections in the cities of Lakeland and Winter Haven is Monday, October 5th, and the Polk County elections office will be offering mobile voter registration services to ensure everyone has an opportunity to register before this important deadline.

Residents who have not yet registered can sign-up to vote, and voters may update their information if it’s not current with the elections office.  Voters may also request a mail ballot.

Our Mobile Voter Registration Teams will set up Monday, October 5th at the following locations:



  9 am   Harden Boulevard near Oakbridge Center                                

10 am   South Florida Avenue near Southgate Shopping Center

11 am   US Highway 98 North near Taco Bell and Panera Bread

Winter Haven                      

1 pm     Highway 17 and State Road 544 near Home Depot

2 pm     3rd Street NW near City Hall

3 pm     Cypress Gardens Boulevard near Chain of Lakes Complex


For more information, call the Elections Office at 863-534-5888.

Have You Registered to Vote in the November Elections?
Deadline to do so is October 5th!

Residents in the municipalities of Lakeland and Winter Haven who wish to register to vote in the November 3rd Municipal Election must do so on or before Monday, October 5th.

Voter registration forms may be completed online at, or paper copies are available for pickup at many convenient locations throughout the county including city halls, banks, libraries, and chambers of commerce. Those who are already registered are reminded to notify the Elections Office of any name, address, or signature changes before Election Day.

For more information visit, or call the Elections Office at 863-534-5888.

Polk County Communities Recognized as Healthy Weight Community Champions

BARTOW- The Florida Department of Health has recognized the City of Lakeland, the City of Winter Haven, and Polk County as Healthy Weight Community Champions. Between November 2013 and February 2014, local governments were invited to submit best practice policies they have implemented to promote physical activity and improve nutrition in their jurisdictions. These “best practices” are exemplified by the Healthy Weight Community Champions.


“Efforts to improve health are often most effective at the local level and the Department wants to recognize the outstanding progress made by these communities to promote healthy weight,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.

“We are very proud of the work our local community leaders have accomplished to make Polk County a healthier place to live, work, and play,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, FDOH- Polk Director.

Some of the best practices enacted locally include:

  • Sponsorship of low or no cost fitness related events
  • Pursuing healthy community design and complete streets policies
  • Supporting the development of community gardens
  • Including healthier alternatives in vending machines at parks and recreation facilities

    A full list of policy changes for each community is available in the attached document or online at

    Each municipality will receive their award at an upcoming public meeting. Communities will also receive personalized Healthy Weight graphics and promotional material.

    The Community Champions program is part of the Department’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

    To learn more about Healthiest Weight Florida, please visit

    For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Polk County please visit


Activation of Polk County ‘Cold Weather’ Shelters

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (Jan. 6, 2014) – The American Red Cross is opening a cold weather shelter beginning at 6 p.m. this evening at St. Joseph Catholic Church located at 535 Ave. M Northwest in Winter Haven.

The Salvation Army in Lakeland, only provides shelter for families with children. Any family (single mother with children, single father with children, married couples with children) will be accommodated in the shelter with cots. Dinner will be provided for families who check in by 5 p.m. This shelter will accept families into the night. Morning check-out is 7:30 a.m. The Salvation Army Center of Hope is located at 830 N. Massachusetts Ave. in Lakeland. For questions about this shelter please call 863-682-8179 ext. 226.

Talbot House in Lakeland, in partnership with the Salvation Army, also provides cold night accommodations to singles (men and women). The Talbot House is located in Lakeland at 814 N. Kentucky Ave. For additional. For questions about this shelter please call 863-687-8475.

Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland provides shelter to MEN ONLY.  Lighthouse Ministries is located at 117 E. Magnolia Street in Lakeland. For questions about this shelter please call 863-687-4076.

For more information on Polk County Fire Rescue visit