City News Blog

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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!


Watch our big announcement on Facebook Live here!


LAKELAND, FL (August 25, 2016) - The City of Lakeland is very pleased to announce that Lakeland Senior Living, LLC d/b/a Lake Gibson Village has donated an 18-acre parcel of land south of Carpenter’s Way to the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department. The 18-acre parcel, valued at $2.25 million will be developed into a neighborhood park.  Evangel Christian School used a portion of the complex and the sports fields until it closed in 2006. The existing fields have been vacant and in dire need of maintenance ever since. 

Lake Gibson Village purchased the vacant Without Walls Church property and surrounding 66 acres to develop Lake Gibson Village Senior Living Community. Phase one of the development includes the restoration of the former historic Carpenters Home, which has been transformed into 142 independent senior living apartments with many of the original architectural details preserved.  Residents will begin moving in this month.  Phase two, which is currently in the early stages of development, will include new construction of separate assisted living and memory care buildings as well as additional independent living residences. 

“We are excited about the City’s plans for the property and happy that the planned amenities will be enjoyed by the entire community,” said Renee Tucker, CEO of Lake Gibson Village and spokesperson for the owners.

City Manager Tony Delgado said, “Earlier in the year, Lake Gibson Village agreed to lease the sports fields to the City of Lakeland for $1 per year.  This local agreement started dialogue for something much bigger and now we are excited to share, not only a generous gift but our vision of a neighborhood park.”

Bob Donahay, City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Director said, “This site is a prime piece of real estate and we have big plans for the property. The City of Lakeland really does appreciate the generous donation that will allow us to add to our park inventory without the costly expense of purchasing land.” He added, “Once we build it out, the 18-acre parcel will be a great amenity for the neighborhood that will house two multi-purpose fields with permanent lighting, a walking path, a modular playground and a dog park.  We also have plans for concessions and restrooms so one day we can host youth sports leagues at the facility.”

“This is a win-win and the City of Lakeland is extremely grateful that we have partners like Lake Gibson Village that care about the well-being of the community, enough to donate park land valued at $2.25 million,” said Delgado. “We plan on building a much needed park facility that the surrounding neighborhood will enjoy and the sports fields will allow us to address the immediate needs of youth sports programs.”

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become on of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.  To learn more about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.

CONTACT:

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | 863/834-6264

Twitter @lakelandgov | FB @CityofLakeland

 



 

The City of Lakeland's Parks and Recreation Department is getting a new stock trailer for our nursery’s annual flower bed route and we want YOUR help! Comment below, send us a private message, or email communications@lakelandgov.net to officially submit your ideas for our trailer's new slogan.

 

Deadline: Must be submitted by Friday, September 2nd, 2016.

 

Rules: Keep it short & sweet (& tasteful) and related to flowers in some way.

 

The winner will be chosen by our Communications team and will receive a #IAMLAKELAND t-shirt!


Grand Opening August 3rd at 10:30am

LAKELAND, FL (July 27, 2015) - The City of Lakeland’s Webster Park has received a facelift thanks to a $190,000 donation from Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company and a $17,000 donation from the Midtown CRA.  Improvements include a new playground with several themed pieces of equipment that features a full range of slides, climbers, ladders and play activities. A grand opening of the new park will take place August 3rd at 10:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The new playground has elements for preschoolers and elementary aged children.  Renovations to the park also includes swings, two picnic pavilions, a drinking fountain, fencing, benches, trash cans, resurfaced basketball court, basketball backboards, bike racks and ADA access. 

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company has an iconic red elephant as their logo and the new Webster Park uses a number of zoo animals as a theme including a red elephant.

Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks said, “The City of Lakeland was able to replace Webster Park’s playground equipment that was originally installed in 1994 with brand new equipment designed to enhance the experience for those visiting the park.”  She added, “We thank Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company for their generous donation to make the vision become reality.  We could not have completed the park without their assistance and as a thank you, the public will see the red elephant prominently displayed in a piece of playground equipment.  We also are very grateful to the Midtown CRA for their support as well.”


LAKELAND SKATEPARK WILL CLOSE AT 8 PM STARTING FEBRUARY 29TH

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. 

 

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