February 2021
Immerse yourself in the Black History of Lakeland 
by visiting each Discovery Trail stop and learning about the people, places and events that shaped our community.

LARRY R. JACKSON BRANCH LIBRARY | 1700 N Florida Ave | Mon-Thu: 9AM-7PM • Fri & Sat: 9AM-5PM
COLEMAN-BUSH BUILDING | 1104 Martin L King Jr Ave | Mon-Fri: 8AM-5PM
CITY HALL | 228 S Massachusetts Ave | Mon-Fri: 8AM-5PM
LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT | 219 N Massachusetts Ave | 24HRS
SIMPSON PARK | 1725 Martin L King Jr Ave | Mon-Fri: 10AM-7PM • Sat: 9AM-3PM • Sun: 12-4PM

If you would rather participate virtually, visit:
The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) continues to work diligently to protect the health of the residents in Lakeland and across Polk County against COVID-19. As of February 12th, over 45,000 Polk residents have received a vaccination. Polk County continues to use its current vaccination enrollment process through the county’s vaccination portal. 

The portal is an online reservation system for those who meet the requirements in the Governor’s Executive Order. Those who are 65 years old and older and wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may register through the portal. Users can create an account and upload their personal information to be notified about a future appointment as the vaccine is available. The portal can be found by visiting Polk County Government’s Vaccine Registration Web Portal.

Polk County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline also remains open. Those who prefer to register by phone can call (863) 298-7500 for assistance. The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

DOH-Polk is working with community vaccination partners such as Lakeland Regional Health, BayCare, Watson Clinic and Bond Clinic to assist with COVID-19 vaccinations across the county. These partners will be assisting DOH-Polk in vaccinating those who are on Polk’s vaccine registration list. Individuals who are on the registration list may receive calls from any of the four locations, including Polk’s vaccine call center, to be scheduled for an appointment.
Vaccines will be given by appointment ONLY. As more vaccine becomes available, DOH-Polk hopes to expand its vaccination partners to different entities including pharmacies, drug stores and primary care providers. 

Recently, the Governor’s office announced that additional COVID-19 vaccinations would be made available to some local pharmacies through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. These pharmacies include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Publix Super Markets and Winn-Dixie. Registrations for vaccines at these locations will have to be coordinated with the individual pharmacies. DOH-Polk does not oversee these vaccine allocations. If an individual can get their COVID-19 vaccine through an alternate source while waiting for a vaccine through Polk’s registration list, they are encouraged to do so.
The Community Redevelopment Agency is now taking applications for its Dixieland Art Infusion Grant. Businesses facing S. Florida Ave. from E. Magnolia St. to Lenox St. are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Damaris Stull, CRA Project Manager, or visit
Play Ball! Grapefruit League Given Green Light with COVID Protocols in Place
SurfLakeland Expansion

The ability to access computers and the internet has become increasingly important, especially when dealing with remote learning and other impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The idea of the "digital divide" refers to the growing gap between the underprivileged members of society, especially the poor, rural, elderly, and handicapped portion of the population that do not have access to computers or the internet; and the wealthy, middle-class, and young Americans living in urban and suburban areas who have access.

Although the number of Americans with access to computers and the internet continues to grow on a yearly basis, the digital divide also continues to grow at an alarming rate. On the one hand, sections of society already connected are adopting newer technologies at a faster rate than some of the lower socioeconomic areas that don’t have the same connectivity. Unfortunately, according to a study conducted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the gap is widening along already strained economic and racial lines.

In an effort to address this issue, the City of Lakeland has created a grant program and is working with various agencies to help bridge that gap. The most recent endeavor included the installation of WiFi at the Boys & Girls Club. Oscar Torres, Director of Information Technology said, “The project included the installation of three wireless access points, a network switch and a fiber optic port so students at the Boys & Girls Club would have blazingly fast internet.” He added, “The coverage is over 10,000 sq. ft. and includes the open area used as a collaboration site and a computer lab/business center. The entire area within the building is also covered by the Surf Lakeland WiFi.”

Keri White, Unit Director for the John L. Sanders Boys & Girls Club, stated in a letter, “Thank you for the WiFi. I can’t count the number of times over the past three years that our internet wasn’t working and this makes it very difficult to complete the simplest daily tasks.” She added, “We created a business center that assists parents in filling out job applications, creating resumes and printing items. The new connectivity not only helps the students who attend the Boys & Girls Club, but also those parents who now have a place to access the internet.”

For more information on the City’s Surf Lakeland grant process created to help bridge the digital divide, please visit LakelandGov.net/DigitalDivide.
In February 2021, adult spaces within the library will be closed to construct the new Lakeland History & Culture Center and to update the HVAC system.

Access to all youth collections 
Self-serve holds pickup
A small bestseller collection
Fax and copy services
Library card registration
Help with library accounts
Book drop and meeting room open for returns 
Black & Brew remains open

Adult public access computers and printing
Assistance with technology questions
General seating for adults
Lakeland History Room access
Friends of the Library book sale area
Proctoring of tests

A special municipal election will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 to fill the southeast district Lakeland City Commission seat.

Are you registered to vote?

Runoff Election, if needed:
May 4, 2021

Last day to request vote by mail ballots:
March 27, 2021

Walk-In Voting:
March 29-April 2 &
April 5: 8:30-4:30

For more information, contact:
Kelly Koos, MMC
City Clerk, City of Lakeland
228 S. Massachusetts Avenue
Lakeland 33801