December 2020
Lift Lakeland is a community initiative designed to bridge social gaps and create a network of harmony through people-centered solutions to help reduce racial tensions.  

The Lift Lakeland Plan started when the Lakeland City Commission held a community forum event on race relations during the summer. That event sparked follow up meetings with community stakeholders and created the foundation for the Lift Lakeland Plan that can be found at LakelandGov.net/LiftLakeland.
 
A great deal has happened since that initial meeting that took place earlier in the summer. The Lift Lakeland process included gathering input from the community to determine the most significant gaps in society to address racial disparities. The information was consolidated into core categories to serve as a roadmap to meet our community’s needs in the areas of mentoring, leadership development, youth sports, and public safety.
 
Mayor Bill Mutz said, “We really need our citizens to assist us by providing additional input as we get ready to launch the plan. We invite you to go to LakelandGov.net/LiftLakeland and share your individual thoughts and hopefully sign up to assist with volunteering and mentorship.”  
 
There is also a chance to gather for Courageous Conversations, where people with varying backgrounds will gather in small groups to talk about issues. This platform is a way to help bridge racial separation and lend a better understanding of all people regardless of skin color. Courageous Conversations is a great start to meet new people right away and build new relationships.
 
Mutz said, “We have two great ways to Lift Lakeland! You can do one or both! If you want to meet new people right away and start building new relationships that will better our community – sign up on our website to participate in Courageous Conversations. If you want to help build a long-term strategy and be part of solution-based planning, sign up and deploy your greatest strengths as a mentor or volunteer for our Lift Lakeland Plan, because we are stronger together.”
JOIN US FOR THE GRAND OPENING OF THE LAKELAND FIRE DEPARTMENT'S
NEW TRAINING COMPLEX

The Lakeland Fire Department invites you to join them for the grand opening of their new, highly anticipated Training Center Complex on . Located at 2540 W Lake Parker Drive. The new facility will serve to help firefighters learn and practice essential lifesaving skills, to help Lakeland's citizens and visitors alike. 

The grand opening event will feature speakers, demonstrations, tours, and refreshments. 

The public is welcome. CDC guidelines for health and safety will be followed. The event will take place on Monday, January 4th at 9 a.m.
PARDON OUR DUST
AS WE BUILD FOR THE FUTURE
TO TELL THE STORIES
OF THE PAST

The Main Branch of the Lakeland Public Library will soon experience construction for the Lakeland History and Culture Center. Construction is slated to start sometime in January with construction expected to last 12 months. The History and Culture Center, once completed, will be an area within the library that captures and shares Lakeland’s unique history.  

The Center will feature people, places, and events that shaped Lakeland’s past. City Manager Shawn Sherrouse said, “The History and Culture Center will be a great amenity for the City of Lakeland. It will provide an opportunity for the community to share and learn about the diverse background and history of Lakeland through all walks of life.”

During construction, most of the library will be closed with the exception of the Children’s section and Black & Brew. During the construction, there will also be renovations for lighting, ceiling fixtures, and a new HVAC with new air ducts throughout the entire library. The library will still be offering curbside service to patrons, as they did during the COVID shutdown. 

Completion of the 1,400 square feet Culture Center will require additional private fundraising to assist with display cases, technology aids, modular walls, and content creation. An Advisory Committee led by former Mayor Gow Fields and former City Commissioner Don Selvage was formed to help bring this vision to life. Those interested in donating are invited to do so through the GiveWell Community Foundation.
WE VALUE YOUR OPINION – HELP SHAPE THE LAKELAND OF TOMORROW
 
The City of Lakeland will be conducting its annual survey designed for Citizens to share their views on quality of life issues and services. The online survey can be accessed by visiting LKLDview.com. It will be live starting January 1, 2021, and run through January 31, 2021.

The user-friendly survey asks respondents to share valuable feedback and rate Lakeland as a place to live, work, and play.  Citizens are invited to let their voices be heard and help plan for the Lakeland of tomorrow.
 
Please take time to participate in the LKLDVIEW on-line survey. It’s quick, it’s easy, and your feedback is valuable to our City planning.
 
Call 863.834.SWAN for more information and take the survey January 1-31, 2021 by visiting LKLDview.com.

As a City-owned utility, our goal is to provide Lakeland with reliable electric service, but we also feel it is our responsibility to help improve the quality of life for our customers. In partnership with Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Lakeland Electric is pleased to offer a program that assists those less fortunate. Project Care was developed to assist customers who are 60 and older, and/or disabled, with paying their electric bills.

With your support, Project Care can help provide emergency assistance to eligible seniors or customers with disabilities in our community who have experienced a recent crisis that has placed them in danger of losing their utility service. Project Care raises thousands of dollars each year through customer donations. Since its inception in December of 1994, Project Care has raised over $500,000 to help families and individuals.

Lakeland Electric offers a convenient way for customers to participate. Through the Round Up program, Lakeland Electric customers can choose to automatically round up their utility bills to the next highest dollar amount. For example, a participating customer’s monthly bill of $153.75 would be automatically rounded up to $154.00 with the additional 25 cents going to Round Up for Project Care. With your contribution, this program will continue to help our neighbors in need.

Each month the donation will vary, depending on the amount of your electric bill. There will be a separate line on your utility bill indicating the amount donated to Round Up for Project Care for that particular month. The minimum amount you contribute each month is one cent and the maximum is 99 cents. The maximum any customer can contribute in a year is $11.88 ($0.99 times 12 months). The program provides emergency relief for temporary financial hardships — not chronic or long-term debts. A customer is eligible for a maximum benefit of $150.00 per year.

Your small change can make a big difference.

DONATE AND RECYCLE UNWANTED ITEMS THIS CHRISTMAS...
AND PROPERLY DISPOSE OF THE THINGS YOU CAN'T!

Don’t know what to do with all that extra garbage? You can make Christmas a lot easier on you and your family by simply following a few easy steps. Instead of throwing away all of your wrapping paper and gift boxes, put it in your blue recycling cart. However, cloth and plastic ribbons should go in the trash.

Should Santa bring you new appliances, computers & electronics, cell phones, toys, clothes or furniture, we can help. Furniture can be placed curbside on your normal collection day. If you're disposing of old appliances, call 863.834.8773 or email Solid Waste Customer Service to schedule a bulk pickup. Computers and electronics, if they're not able to be donated, must be recycled at the Hazardous Waste Facility at the Polk County Landfill.

Also, don’t forget to recycle those Christmas Trees. After Christmas, please place your un-decorated tree curbside on your yard trash day for collection and our Solid Waste collection team will be happy to recycle it for you! Have a safe and happy Christmas!