November 2012 Access Lakeland
30290-I-0119 City of Lakeland’s Monthly Newsletter November 2012 IN THIS ISSUE DID AT THE FIRST THANKSGIVING, YOU THE PILGRIMS AND INDIANS KNOW... ATE SWAN AND NOT TURKEY? ON NOVEMBER 22, MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL GATHER WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY & LOVED ONES TO CELEBRATE A DAY SET ASIDE TO GIVE THANKS. SOME WILL OFFER THANKS TO GOD FOR BLESSINGS, SOME WILL STUFF THEMSELVES WITH A FAMILY FEAST, AND SOME WILL GIVE OF THEMSELVES TO THOSE LESS FORTUNATE. NO MATTER HOW YOU CELEBRATE THIS THANKSGIVING, THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW... GOOD EATING eBilling: What It Means To You Meet Gene Lord: LPD Domestic Abuse Assistance THESE SIX STATES ACCOUNT FOR TWO-THIRDS OF US TURKEY PRODUCTION IN 2011. You Are The Solution To Pollution LPD SWAT Team Among The Best in the Country The Thanksgiving Classic began when the first owner of the Detroit Lions needed a gimmick to get people to go to the Lions’ games... they’ve played in it ever since. 228 S. Massachusetts Ave Lakeland, FL 33801 863.834.6000 www.lakelandgov.net WISCONSIN produced 430M LBS of cranberries in 2011. OCEAN SPRAY, the nation’s largest producer of cranberry sauce reports that of the 86.4M cans it sells a year, 72M of them are sold between September and the end of December. Monthly Comparison of Residential Electric Rates Source: Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) Monthly Utility Bill Comparison • August 2012 www.lakelandelectric.com eBilling “Pay bills online. The process is speedy, cuts down on paper clutter in your home, and spares you from scrounging for stamps. All major banks and credit unions now let you pay bills online, and an increasing number allow you to receive your bills at their Web sites as well. Most banks provide the service at no charge. If you’re worried about online identity theft, relax. Paying bills online is actually safer than sending checks through the mail.” Consumer Reports Electronic bills, also known as “eBills,” are a convenient, secure and environmentally friendly way of delivering many of the bills you pay. What’s an eBill? An eBill (electronic bill) is an electronic version of a paper bill that you can view and pay online. Instead of being sent to your home mailbox, eBills are sent electronically to your email account. Once you have signed up to receive an eBill, you will receive an emailed statement and streamline your bill paying routine. Plus, eBills can be printed or filed online for record-keeping if needed. When you’re ready to pay, all you need to do is go online and enter the amount, schedule the date you want the bill paid, and click to pay. It’s that easy. More and more consumers are choosing to have their bills delivered electronically because there are so many benefits. What’s in it for me? Switching to eBills and online bill pay has many advantages. Probably the best one of all is that it’s FREE! Not only can you have your bills delivered electronically, you can pay them online without paying a cent for stamps or envelopes. Other great benefits of receiving and paying bills online include: • Convenience – You don’t have to be at home to view or pay bills. You can access them quickly and securely online anytime from anywhere. • Control – Online bill pay and eBills are not the same as an automatic draft where the same amount is deducted from your checking account every month. Instead, you’re in charge of when payments get scheduled and the amount you pay. • Safeguard Your Credit Score – You can receive e-mail reminders when bills are due and schedule automatic payments so your bills are paid on time, which helps you maintain good credit. • Greater Organization – The days of having stacks of bills on your desk are history. Plus, there’s no filing because your billing info is available online. • Enhanced Security – Replacing paper bills with electronic versions allows you to reduce the flow of personal information from unsecured mailboxes, where paper mail can be a target for theft. • Environmentally Friendly – Using greenfriendly eBills and online bill pay reduces the demand for paper and that helps reduce solid waste and curb the release of greenhouse gases. To sign up for eBill, please visit us at www.lakelandelectric.com and go to the residential tab at the top of the page and then click on the customer service tab. PROJECT CARE MAKES A DIFFERENCE 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. To help our fellow citizens in need, a program called Project Care was developed to assist people with paying their electric bills. Lakeland Electric customers who are 60 and older and/or disabled are eligible for assistance. Lakeland Electric is pleased to offer a convenient program that provides assistance to those less fortunate. Round Up for Project Care is a voluntary program that gives Lakeland Electric customers an opportunity to help low-income senior and disabled members of the community. 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. 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). If you are interested in participating in the Round Up program, please call Customer Service at 834-9535 or visit www.Lakelandelectric.com and fill out the quick form because your small change will make a big difference. LPD TRAINING CENTER BECOMES A REALITY For the past 30 years the Lakeland Police Department has relied heavily on a 3,200 square foot building for the classroom and physical combat training of its officers. The single room facility, constructed in 1981 by employees, has served as primary training center for every sworn officer for Lakeland and is frequently used by neighboring law enforcement agencies for training as well. With today’s standards requiring officers to receive monthly training, the need for additional classroom space has become crucial. That need will soon be fulfilled with a new Police Department training facility. Earlier this year construction began on a new 6,000 square foot facility, which will sit adjacent to the current training building and firing range training area. Locally based companies Sheets Associates Architects and Miller Construction Management, Inc. were selected to design and construct the new facility, which is expected to cost an estimated $750,000. The all-metal exterior building, paid for with impact fees, will be one of the most energyefficient buildings in the county when it opens later this year. “We have wanted this new facility for a long time, and this year we finally were in a position to make it happen,” said Captain Victor White who is overseeing the project. “This facility will allow us greater flexibility in getting all 226 officers in for their required ongoing training.” Project managers from both companies have been onsite working side-by-side with City departments to ensure all of the project goals are met. The new facility will feature three classrooms, 88 data ports, 28 computer workstations and flat panel monitors with a projection system. The technology upgrades will allow for consistent hands-on training and the additional classrooms will allow for multiple training classes to be offered during a given day. The 10 ft. ceilings in the new center will provide plenty of room for tactical training, which often involves hand-to-hand combat. Officers at the training center will also enjoy a full break room, lockers and shower facilities. However, don’t expect the existing training center to be boarded up. The department plans to continue utilizing the old facility to the fullest. With the removal of the old tables and chairs a dedicated space will now be available to set up scenario-based training allowing officers the ability to practice simulated hostage stand-offs and building entrance techniques. “Providing our officers consistent, quality training must be our top priority,” said White. We owe it to our officers to provide them with the best training available as they put their lives on the line everyday protecting our community.” like \''līk\ vb: to be suitable or agreeable to. w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / c i t y o f l a k e l a n d EDGEWOOD EXTension OPEN The much anticipated Edgewood Drive Extension that connects South Florida Avenue to Harden Boulevard officially opened on Friday, September 21st during a ceremony that included the official removal of the barricades and a motorcade ribbon cutting. The Southwest Middle School Jazz Band played and students from the school cheered when the procession motored past the school. Construction of West Edgewood Drive started January 1, 2012 and it opened ahead of schedule. An east/west connector has been in the works since 2001 when the City of Lakeland had its first workshop on possible routes. The total cost for the project was $19.2 million with funding coming from Polk County, the Federal Highway Administration, City of Lakeland impact fees and City of Lakeland bond revenues. West Edgewood Drive is expected to experience over 16,000 cars per day. LIKE US ON G OV E R N M E N T E M P L OY E E S AT WO R K Meet Gene Lord Gene Lord is the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) Coordinator for the Lakeland Police Department. It is a position he has held since joining the Department in 2006. Lord has the heavy responsibility of assisting victims of domestic violence by ensuring they get all the help that is available. “I am fortunate to work with other people who are as passionate about helping those in need as I am,” said Lord. “Not everyone can do this job. But it is so rewarding to help those who may have no one else to turn to.” As a DART member Lord wears many hats. His primary focus remains with victims of domestic violence. In his position he serves as a point person within the department for many victims. He often stays in contact with those he helps from the moment after they become a victim, all the way through the prosecution of their attacker. “Having that connection with victims is the thing I love most about my job,” said Lord. “With many positions in law enforcement you only get involved with one piece of the judicial process. The continuing involvement allows us to serve as a trusted source for a victim.” “When you see how many people are affected by domestic violence, it strengthens your resolve to work harder.” Lord knows all about other aspects of law enforcement. Before coming to the Lakeland Police Department he served 34 years for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Even after retiring, Lord still wanted to help those in need. “Over the years I have learned so much about victim’s assistance and the services that are available,” said Lord. “There have been great strides in education, treatment services and in proactive prevention methods. However, the most important piece of advice that I give to people has not changed over the years. Take that first step. There are services and people here to help you. Domestic violence does not go away with time and in most cases the situation only gets worse.” This past October, Lord served as coordinator for the Third Annual Domestic Violence Symposium that was hosted in Lakeland. Over 200 members from law enforcement, victim advocates groups, treatment providers and other organizations gathered at the Lake Mirror center to share ideas and stories on how they can help put an end to domestic violence. “It is great to see so many dedicated people collaborate together,” said Lord. “When you see how many people are affected by domestic violence, it strengthens your resolve to work harder.” Lord also serves on the Florida Domestic Violence Task force and the Fatality Review Team of the 10th Judicial Circuit. Lord is not the first or the last in his family to serve as a member of the Lakeland Police Department. His father, Gordon Lord served as an officer from 1951 thru late 1970s.Through is tenure he achieved the rank of Major, now know as Deputy Chief. His son Marshall Lord currently serves as a sergeant assigned to the uniform patrol division. It is the first time in the history of the Department three generations have served consecutively. Lord laughs when talking about his grandson who has also expressed an interest in working for the department. “I guess it is in our blood,” said Lord. A loving husband to his wife Susan for the past 41 years, Lord has one son and two grandchildren. When he has time he loves watching Nascar and traveling with his family. CITY OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED For The Observance of Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 22 Friday, November 23 Christmas: Monday, December 24 Tuesday, December 25 New Year’s Tuesday, January 1 STAY CONNECTED ONLINE www.lakelandgov.net LPD SWAT TEAM AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY! Members from the Lakeland Police Department SWAT Team placed among the top teams at the Texas Tactical Police Officers Association SWAT Competition in Dallas, Texas! From September 21 – 23, 2012 team members competed in seven different events that included obstacle course runs with target shooting, a sniper challenge which required competitors to accurately fire from 300 yards, and a pistol course designed to test the accuracy of an operator under stress in a hostage rescue situation. You are the Solution to Pollution When rain falls on streets, parking lots and rooftops, it runs off and becomes stormwater. Stormwater is collected in storm drains, inlets, pipes, curbs and ditches and directed away from where people live, work, and play. Paint, pesticides, vehicle fluids, cooking grease and trash disposed of in storm drains gets into our lakes as untreated pollution. Dumping anything on the ground or in a stormwater collection structure is a form of pollution called illicit discharge. Even natural materials like grass clippings, yard debris and pet waste pollute our lakes. It is against City Code to leave pollutants where they may be carried by stormwater into our lakes. We are proud to congratulate the Lakeland SWAT team on their 1st Place finish in the Obstacle Course event and their 4th place ranking overall. This is the first time a Florida team has placed in the top 10. SWAT Team Members: Sergeant David Woolverton Sergeant Brent Addison Sergeant Brian McNabb Sergeant Pat Guity Officer Jasper Yzaguirre (not pictured) Officer Kolby Hodge Officer Mark Eby (not pictured) Also, a special thank you to support personell Sergeant Chad Mumbauer and Matt Brown, Lakeland Firefighter and SWAT medic. You can help protect Lakeland’s water resources by: • Preventing yard materials (leaves/grass) from getting into streets and stormwater drains • Washing your vehicle on the grass or at a commercial carwash • Disposing of hazardous materials at an approved disposal site or through the City’s household hazardous waste program. • Calling the Pollution Hotline: 863.834.3300 HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS HOLIDAY WALKABOUt • NOVEMBER 27 • 6-9PM • Downtown Christmas Parade • December 6 • 7PM • Downtown SnowFest • December 8 • 10AM-2PM • Lake Mirror Promenade for details about all Santa’s Calling • December 11 • 5:30-8pm • Registration Required of these events, Visit www.lakelandgov.net MLK Parade REgistration • DeADLINE: December 8 IN PERSON City Hall is open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday PUBLIC MEETINGS City Commission and Utility Committee meetings occur the first and third Monday of every month. The public is invited to attend or watch live on Channel 615 (Brighthouse) or Channel 43 (Verizon FiOS) CITY COMMISSION 9:00 a.m. UTILITY COMMITTEE 1:00 p.m. IMPORTANT NUMBERS City Hall 863.834.6000 Lakeland Electric Customer Service 863.834.9535 Power or Water Outages 863.834.4248 Stormwater Hotline 863.834.3300 PAYING YOUR UTILITY BILL ONLINE www.lakelandelectric.com BY PHONE 863.834.9535 IN PERSON Lakeland Electric has partnered with over 50 local businesses including area AMSCOT offices to accept your utility payment.