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 (October 21, 2016) - A grease blockage caused a manhole to fill up and weep approximately 350 gallons of raw wastewater around the cover at 95 Lake Hunter Drive. The incident was discovered at 12:58 p.m. and reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The potentially affected area does drain toward a storm drain that leads to Lake Hunter and the City of Lakeland is testing the water at Lake Hunter. The grease blockage was cleared at approximately 1:35 p.m.


Name of Reporting Party:
Richard Ruede

Installation Name: Lakeland Water Utilities

Installation Address:
1825 Glendale Street

Installation Location:
Lakeland, Florida

Contact person for further information: Robert Conner, Rick Ruede

Permit Number (if facility/installation holds a permit): FL0039772

Date and time of the incident or discovery: 12:58 PM, 21 October, 2016

Location of the incident or discovery: 95 Lake Hunter Drive

Suspected source and cause of incident or discovery: Grease blockage that cause manhole to fill up and weep around the cover.

Type of pollution, including substance or contaminant name(s): Raw Wastewater

Amount of pollution, including substance or contaminant name(s): 350 Gallons

Medium (e.g. land, water, air) affected by pollution: Water

Potentially affected areas beyond installation property boundary: Grassy area around manhole flowing towardsStorm Drain leading to Lake Hunter

Potential risk to the public health, safety, or welfare: People should refrain from swimming in the affected waters until testing can be completed. City of Lakeland will be doing the testing.

Identification of other parties notified of incident and time notification occurred: Catherine Lemonius – FDEP and Laurie Smith – COL Lakes and Stormwater via this e-mail

Any other information that may be helpful: Event terminated at 1:35 PM. City crews vactored out the manhole and cleared blockage. Area around site was washed down and the wash water vactored up as well. No property damage reported.

The City of Lakeland has scheduled a Public Meeting regarding a proposed cycle track along New York Avenue, from W Main Street to W Lime Street. This project will include the following elements as part of the project design: 

  1. Modification of New York Avenue to include a two-way “cycle track” in the existing southbound lane, limiting vehicular traffic on New York Avenue to one-way northbound only
  2. Construction of a traffic separator between the bicycle lanes and northbound vehicular traffic
  3. Construction of streetscape, to include paver sidewalk and decorative street lighting along the west side of New York Avenue between W Main Street and W Orange Street.
  4. Conversion of the New York Avenue at W Lemon Street and New York Avenue at W Orange Street intersections from North-South stop-control to East-West stop-control
  5. Construction of an eight-foot wide pathway on the north side of Lime Street between Sikes Boulevard and S New York Avenue
  6. Enhanced landscaping along the north side of W Orange Street between the Sikes Boulevard on-ramp and S New York Avenue

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the City of Lakeland Commissioners' Chambers, located at 228 S Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33803.

This public meeting is being conducted to present the 60% design and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. It will be conducted in an open-house format beginning at 6:00 pm. City Planners and Engineering Staff will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards and other visual aids depicting the project will be available.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or family status. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons with disabilities needing special accommodation to participate in this proceeding, or those requiring language assistance (free of charge) should contact the City of Lakeland ADA Coordinator, no later than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the proceeding, at (863) 834-8447, Email: If hearing impaired, please contact the TDD numbers: Local – (863) 834-8333 or (800) 955-8771 (TDD – Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or the Florida Relay Service Number (800) 955-8770 (VOICE), for assistance.

Please visit the City of Lakeland Public Works website at for more information regarding this project. Design-related information may be obtained by contacting the City of Lakeland Project Manager, Ron Laubach, P.E., at the contact information below.

For additional updates, follow the City of Lakeland Facebook page.


Ron Laubach, P.E. | 863/834-6031 |

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.”

Emergency Training Exercise Happening At Lakeland Air Port

A full-scale emergency exercise, designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident, is being held here on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

More than 150 individuals from 15 agencies will gather to participate in the exercise. The scenario involves a commercial aircraft unable to make an emergency landing on runway 9 but instead lands in the Airport’s solar farm, a mile west of the approach end of runway 9. Emergency agencies in and around Polk County will respond to the simulated scenario. There will be signage along Drane Field Rd. indicating that a training exercise is in progress. There will be numerous vehicles and large apparatus entering and exiting Drane Field Rd. and Hamilton Rd. along the airport’s property, where the exercise will be taking place.

The community should be advised there is no need for concern.