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 (August 11, 2016) - Summer fun is done and school is back in session for most Polk County students starting Monday, August 15, 2016. The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) will be promoting safety in school zones as part of its Back to School Safety Campaign, for the seventh year in a row! 

On Monday, August 15, 2016 (and August 18, 2016 at McKeel Central and South McKeel Academy), Lakeland Fire Department personnel will be in school zones holding signs urging drivers to:


LFD will have a fire engine and/or rescue truck and its crew posted at high visibility roadways and intersections near thirteen Lakeland elementary schools in the department’s service area. 

Children will be crowding sidewalks and crossing many streets on their commute to and from school. Often in their excitement, children neglect to follow basic safety rules so it is up to motorist to be extra vigilant and to drive safely.

The Lakeland Fire Department’s goal is to ensure that no child is injured this school year by a negligent driver. Since the beginning of this safety campaign in 2009, incidents involving motorist striking school bound pedestrians have steadily declined in Lakeland.

All emergency response units will remain in service while participating in the campaign and will continue to respond to emergencies with no interruptions in service. 

LFD personnel will be stationed at the following locations:

Participating School Name


Neighborhood Fire Station

Safety Promotion Hours

Philip O'Brien Elementary

1225 E. Lime Street

Station 1

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Carlton Palmore Elementary

3725 Cleveland Heights Blvd. 33813

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Cleveland Court Elementary

328 E. Edgewood Drive 33813

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Dixieland Elementary

416 W.Ariana

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Southwest Elementary

2650 Southwest Ave.

Station 2

7:15 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Lincoln Avenue Academy

1330 N. Lincoln Ave.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

North Lakeland Elementary

410 W. Robson St.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

Rochelle School of the Arts

1501 MLK, Jr. Ave.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Sleepy Hill Elementary

2285 Sleepy Hill Road

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Blake Academy

510 Hartsell Ave. 33815

Station 4

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

Jesse Keen Elementary

815 Plateau Ave. 33815

Station 4

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

**August 18 **

McKeel Academy Central

411 N Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801

Station 1

8:15 - 8:45 AM 2:15 - 3:10PM

**August 18**

South McKeel Elementary Academy

2222 Edgewood Drive South

Station 5

8:00 - 8:45 AM 2:45 - 3:30 PM



Janel Vasallo, Public Relations/Information Manager | (863) 834-8219

Lakeland, FL (August 10, 2016) | The Lakeland Fire Department is approaching a major milestone as it prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary!  

To mark the significance of this achievement and as a way of sharing the department’s pride in having 100 years of service, the department will be celebrating with a Centennial Celebration for the entire community! It will take place at Fire Station 1, located at 701 E Main Street in Lakeland on August 13, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 

The event will celebrate the department’s past and present. The community celebration will feature:

  • Leaping Lena, the Department’s Restored 1938 Pirsch Fire Engine
  • Historic Artifacts and Displays
  • Live Demonstrations
  • Station Tours
  • Apparatus and Equipment Displays
  • Photo Booth
  • Refreshments
  • Giveaways 
  • and more!

The event is free and open to the public and everyone in the community is encouraged to attend.

You are encouraged to share this information with the community and join LFD on Saturday, August 13, 2016. For more information, interview requests with department representatives, filming, etc. please contact Janel Vasallo.


Janel Vasallo, Public Relations/Information Manager | (863) 834-8219 |

LAKELAND, FL (August 3, 2016) — Publix Super Markets is pleased to announce support of the City of Lakeland, the Detroit Tigers and the Lakeland Flying Tigers by sponsoring the field naming rights of Tigertown. On February 9, 2017 —  the first day of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training season — the stadium will be renamed Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The naming rights will continue through 2036. 

“Lakeland is where our roots are, and we are proud of our long-standing relationship with the City of Lakeland and Tigertown,” said Brian West Publix Lakeland media and community relations manager.  “We are honored to have an opportunity to help keep America’s pastime alive and well in this great city.”

The Publix sponsorship will assist with the redesign and updates to the complex, which include:  

  • A 72,000-square foot player development facility to house Major and Minor League clubhouses (largest in the Grapefruit League)
  • A new state-of-the-art High Definition video scoreboard will sit atop the enhanced Berm in left field
  • The “new Berm” will feature a unique food and beverage destination
  • Improved and realigned seating areas, including additional shading
  • A 360-degree walk around design offering fans great sightlines and a constant view of the game
  • Upgraded concessions and new vending areas offering a variety of menu items
  • New artificial field surface in the Minor League complex
  • Improvements throughout the complex to assist in player development and rehabilitation

“This is a great day and we are very excited to have Publix Super Markets as the naming sponsor for what will now be Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Publix Super Markets is synonymous with Lakeland and we can’t wait to see their name in the outfield,” said Mayor Howard Wiggs. “We have a dedicated team overseeing construction of the stadium and once the project is complete, we will have one of the finest Spring Training facilities in all of Major League Baseball.”

Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The construction and design team has been working day and night on the Tigertown complex so it will be ready for the opening day of Spring Training. The partnership with Publix Super Markets will allow us to complete the vision and we look forward to showcasing Lakeland’s very own field of dreams.”

"The Detroit Tigers thank Publix, the City of Lakeland, Polk County and the State of Florida for sharing our vision and commitment to provide a first-class entertainment experience and a point of destination for Tigers and all baseball fans to enjoy," said Duane McLean, Tigers' Executive Vice President of Business Operations.  "The history both the Tigers and Publix have in Lakeland is historic and unique. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium will symbolize how deeply rooted and invested both the Tigers and Publix are within the Lakeland community for many years to come.” 

Named in honor of the late Joker Marchant, a former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director, Joker Marchant Stadium was used by the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training for the first time in 1966.

Publix is privately owned and operated by its more than 184,000 employees, with 2015 sales of $32.4 billion. Currently Publix has 1,122 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 19 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s website,

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

The Detroit Tigers, Inc., a charter member of the American League in 1901, have won four World Series and 11 American League pennants. The team is owned by Michael Ilitch who purchased the ballclub in 1992. Michael and his wife, Marian, jointly own other companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  Marian Ilitch is the sole owner of MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit


Brian West | Publix Super Markets | (863) 688-7407 ext. 63486

LAKELAND, FL (August 1, 2016) – The City of Lakeland has launched a new digital platform powered by OpenGov that provides residents, elected officials, and staff unprecedented access to the city’s finances and performance information. The OpenGov platform transforms complex financial data into an interactive, digital format that enables better analysis and understanding of the city’s finances. The intuitive design makes it easier to explore how taxpayer money is collected. The platform may be accessed from the City of Lakeland’s home page at 

The OpenGov platform displays 10 years of government spending and revenue detail in a user-friendly portal. Users can view historical revenue and expenditure trends over time and explore multiple views of financial data, including by fund, department, expense, or revenue type. For example, visitors to the platform may answer frequently asked questions such as “What did the city spend on public safety over the past 10 years?” or “How much did the city collect in taxes? Users can review revenues and expenses along with budget history to get a better understanding of the City of Lakeland’s finances.  The tool also allows users to share information directly from the platform via email or on social media.

City Manager Tony Delgado and the City’s Finance Department led the initiative to make the City’s finances more transparent and understandable.

Delgado said, “One of my major goals is to provide a customer centric philosophy to local government and understanding a complex issue like budgeting and finance is important for our citizens and our local officials.  By making financial data easily accessible in an intuitive, digital format, I really feel that Lakeland is demonstrating our commitment to efficient, data-driven and open government.”

Beyond sharing information with the public, the City will be able to use OpenGov internally to create custom reports, manage operations to budget, and keep administrators informed. With the launch of OpenGov, the City of Lakeland joins a growing list of more than 1,000 leading cities, counties, state agencies, school systems, and special districts across the country that leverage OpenGov technology.  Users are invited to review budgets using a series of filters and views.  There is a tutorial video on the City’s OpenGov landing page to help users get started using the budget transparency tool.