Message from Tony Delgado: Closure of City Non-Essential Operations & Services on 9/11/17
Lakeland, FL (September 8, 2017) | After reviewing today’s 11 AM update on the current path of Hurricane Irma, the possible land fall projections and impacts to Polk County and subsequent discussions with our Department Head team regarding the closure of their non-essential operations and facilities, I have concluded that we will close all non-essential operations and facilities on a Monday, September 11th. This closing of all Lakeland City offices and services that are not involved in critical and/or emergency service operations based on my belief that if the storm remains on the current path the closure would be in the best interest of the safety of employees of the City and those who may want to do business with City service teams. Additionally, based on the current path and timing of the impacts to Polk County and Lakeland, school closures and the possibility of other governmental and quasi-governmental agency closings, it will be imperative that mission critical services concentrate on restoration efforts and the employees who are non-essential be given the opportunity to do the same on a personal level.
As you are aware, I have already alerted Department Heads to assess their areas and upon their discretion release all non-essential personnel at 2pm on Friday to allow their preparation for weekend storm event.
As a reminder, City Parks, Recreation Centers and the City Library are scheduled to be closed Sunday, September 10th through Monday, September 11th. However, based on the current projections and input from the department attempting to secure the outdoor facilities we will also be closing Saturday, September 9th to provide that additional time for crews to prepare. All scheduled weekend outdoor and indoor programs have been cancelled at this point. The safety of the citizens using our facilities has always been paramount to our operation and the consideration to announce these closings in advance is based solely on these public safety considerations.
Solid Waste collection has also been suspended for those routes normally collected on Monday and will be rescheduled for pick-up on Tuesday,September 12th. Crews will work Saturday and continue their collection services as required and dependent upon the closing of the County landfill on Saturday.
Public safety operations, utility services and those employees deemed to be essential to emergency operations and restoration (following the storm) will continue to administer these necessary operations and prepare for specific restoration deployments as the storm passes and their notice to execute their Emergency/Storm Watch declarations has already commence. The Polk County EOC has moved to a Level 1 Full Activation this morning and will maintain the 24-hour operations until further notice. For reference, Governor Scott has already closed all State offices, universities and schools beginning this morning through Monday.
Thank you for your understanding and I appreciate all the City team has done in preparation for the storm impact. AS we prepare for the hurricane/Storm event over this weekend into Monday I urge all to be diligent in your preparations and most of all care for your families, friends and neighbors and stay safe.
Communications please share with traditional and social media accordingly.
City Manager – City of Lakeland
228 S Massachusetts Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801