August 2013 - Access Lakeland
Access Lakeland is the City of Lakeland's citizen newsletter that is distributed each month with Lakeland Electric utility bills.
30290-I-0134 City of Lakeland’s Monthly Newsletter August 2013 IN THIS ISSUE Lakeland Electric Salutes Lineworkers Neighborhood Spotlight: Dixieland Meet Kelly Koos: City Clerk Public Works Department Reaches Milestones 228 S. Massachusetts Ave Lakeland, FL 33801 863.834.6000 www.lakelandgov.net school bus SAFETY Each year Florida driver’s illegally pass school buses nearly 2 million times. Each illegal pass could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student. The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child’s life. When you are driving it is important to pay attention to your surroundings. It’s always a good idea to stay a safe distance behind any vehicle especially our school buses. Flashing yellow lights indicate that the school bus is preparing to stop. When a bus comes to a stop the red lights begin flashing and the stop arms are extended. Florida law requires that the vehicles behind the bus must come to a complete stop regardless of which lane they are in. Sometimes there is confusion about the law when you approach a stopped school bus going the opposite direction in an oncoming lane. The easiest to recognize is a two lane road. On a two lane road all vehicles must come to a stop when a school bus is stopped. Vehicles traveling in both directions on a multi lane road or a highway must stop even if the lanes are separated by a turn lane. The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least 5 feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. When there is a median motorists still need to exercise caution as the children may not be aware of the traffic around them. While this law may be confusing to some, simply put, Florida Law requires that motorists stop when approaching any school bus that displays its flashing red lights and stop arms extended. Passing a stopped school bus in Florida not only endangers our most precious resource, our children, but it can also empty your wallet. Penalties could include up to a $500 fine, 4 points on your driver’s license and could lead to a suspension of your driving privilege. School buses are extremely safe. Safety features include steel reinforced frames, flashing lights and stop sign arms. Most school bus injuries take place outside the bus when children are getting on and off. School buses are safest when drivers obey all of our laws. Drive carefully, your safety is important to us. Monthly Comparison of Residential Electric Rates Source: Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) Monthly Utility Bill Comparison • May 2013 www.lakelandelectric.com *per 1,200 kWh usage LINEWORKER APPRECIATION August 26th marks the 11-year Anniversary of the loss of Lakeland Electric lineworker Marc Moore. In recognition, the City of Lakeland along with the State of Florida will honor lineworkers for the job they perform each day and the sacrifices that they often make in very hazardous weather conditions. Tracy Moore (Marc’s widow), driven by her passion to ensure that their two boys, McLain and McCoy never forget their father, began her journey to seek recognition for lineworkers on a local, state and national level. The Mayor of Lakeland presented Mrs. Moore with a proclamation last year proclaiming August 26th each year as Lineworker Appreciation Day. Upon completion at the local level, Moore with the support of Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association and Representative Seth McKeel presented lineworker appreciation at the state level. In 2012, the Moore Family along with lineworkers representing 18 counties and every utility in Florida assembled at the Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee to hear August 26th declared as Lineworker Appreciation Day within the State of Florida. While Moore could not be more proud of the success at the local and state level, it continues to be her desire and goal to have this recognition at the national level as well. It remains her passion to have the 114,000 lineworkers serving each state and every community across the United States recognized and honored as first responders. She is currently working with state and federal legislators with the hopes that her dream becomes a reality. The City of Lakeland honors all lineworkers while remembering Marc Moore (July 7, 1971 August 26, 2002).This special day of recognition has certainly brought new meaning to August 26th for the entire Moore Family, Lakeland Electric, the City of Lakeland and lineworkers throughout the state of Florida. Please join us in recognizing line workers on this special day for their commitment and unselfish dedication to the communities that they serve. Transmission line upgrade project in dixieland area Every year, Florida is subject to the probability of Hurricane force winds that can cause extensive damage to electric utility infrastructure. Lakeland Electric has begun work on a transmission line upgrade project as a part of a system-wide, storm hardening effort to prepare Lakeland Electric’s grid for such major storm events. Lakeland Electric will be replacing utility poles along South New York Avenue from Cresap Street south to West Belmar Street, along West Belmar Street from South New York Avenue west to South Lincoln Avenue, and along South Lincoln Avenue from West Belmar Street south to West Edgewood Drive. The existing wood poles that are being replaced were originally installed in 1962 and typically only have a 30 year life expectancy. By proactively replacing the poles before damage occurs Lakeland Electric’s goal is to both increase line capacity for future growth and improve reliability. The project requires heavy equipment and traffic control measures are required to ensure public and work crew safety. During the project there will be lane and road closures which will cause some detours. Messenger boards and temporary road signs will be used to help inform residents. Construction will occur Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of December. For additional information visit us online at www.lakelandelectric.com 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 LIKE US ON Neighborhood Spotlight: Dixieland Neighborhoods are an integral part of the City. Maintaining and enhancing these neighborhoods is critical to the long-term vitality and success of Lakeland and the quality of life of our residents. The City of Lakeland has identified approximately 100 neighborhoods. Of those, 15 are registered neighborhood associations that make up the Neighborhood Association Coalition (NAC), which works closely with City staff. This month, we spotlight the Dixieland Historic Neighborhood. Dixieland was the first subdivision to be developed south of downtown Lakeland. The 1920s and 1940s bungalow-style homes are undoubtedly part of the unique features of Dixieland. Designated as a U.S. historic district in 1994, Dixieland has become both a residential and commercial neighborhood. It is on the east side of Lake Hunter, west of South Florida Avenue, and runs between Walnut and West Belvedere Streets. Currently, neighborhood residents are excited about a new system of sidewalks being constructed that will connect all the neighborhood streets to Lake Hunter from South Florida Avenue. “We feel that the more walkability the less crime we can have,” said Mary Smith, president of the Dixieland Neighborhood Association. In the last couple years, Dixieland received $7,500 in funds from the City of Lakeland’s Neighborhood Matching Grant program. “Last year we put our $2,500 grant to full use by having our first Spring Art Fest and a huge event for National Night Out,” said Smith. The Art Fest was held in the parking lot behind the Dixieland Mall between Hunter and Patterson streets. It attracted participation from residents and businesses. "We’re trying to network with other parts of our neighborhood—like schools and businesses—It’s working out very well,” said Smith. One of the most used parks in Lakeland is located on Ariana Street in the Dixieland community. Dobbins Park is a huge asset to this neighborhood attracting families from all over. Students at Dixieland Elementary School, which is next door, love it. Dixieland Elementary earned an “A” for the 20112012 school year from the state Florida Department of Education. Students continue to excel in reading, math, writing, and science. The City of Lakeland appreciates the involvement of the residents and we will continue to support their improvement efforts. Dixieland Neighborhood Association meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at New Beginnings Baptist Church, 404 W. Belmar Street. For more information about Dixieland visit www.dixielandna.com. Organizing a neighborhood association can be very rewarding. If you are interested in becoming a registered neighborhood association, please contact the neighborhood outreach office at 863.834.6011. G OV E R N M E N T E M P L OY E E S AT WO R K Meet Kelly Koos Meet Kelly Koos, City Clerk for the City of Lakeland. She is a long-time employee having worked for the City since 1987. “I first started working for the City of Lakeland as a high school student working in the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) in then Chief Lawrence Crow’s office before he was appointed by Governor Graham to be the Polk County Sheriff,” she said. “I worked for a while in the records division and eventually I started doing payroll for LPD.” In 1995 Koos made a lateral move to City Hall to work in the City Manager’s Office and in 1999 she applied for the position of City Clerk. Koos said, “I just applied for the position and lucked out after being encouraged by the Finance Director. I expressed interest and he told me that I should apply for the vacated position.” When asked about what she likes about the job, she said that she enjoys working with people.“I like to help people understand because many people don’t know how government works and I get to point them in the right direction,” she said. As the City Clerk, Koos records City Commission minutes but there is much more to the job. She said, “I track legislative history, oversee municipal elections and help with public records. In a way, I’m a historian.” She added, “During election season I spend a great deal of time down at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Bartow.” Koos says that her biggest hurdle as a City Clerk has been overseeing City elections. After the elections in 2002, the Supervisor of Elections notified municipalities in Polk County that they would have to hold their own elections. “Lakeland had not run their own election for City Commission in 20 years. I suspect everyone was holding their breath but the election went well,” said Koos. Koos is immediate Past President of the Florida Association of City Clerks where she just finished serving her one year term. She is a certified Master Municipal Clerk. She has been married to her husband Albert for 18 years and they have two children Glenn who will be a sophomore in high school and Molly will be going into the 5th grade. Her favorite color is pink and she has a weakness for good coffee. Koos enjoys Italian food and her favorite television shows are Big Bang Theory and Downton Abbey. In her spare time she enjoys scrap booking. “Each month, I get together with my scrap booking club and every February I go to scrap booking camp for a long weekend,” she said. “I probably have 15 completed scrap books and I’m working on five right now.” When asked to share something about her that not many people know, she said, “Well not many people know that I play a musical instrument. I started playing the alto horn when I was young and picked it back up about eight years ago.” She added, “I play with the Winter Haven Salvation Army Band and during the holidays you will see me playing as we collect money for the less fortunate.” PUBLIC WORKS APWA ACCREDITATION Hits Milestones City of Lakeland’s Department of Public Works has been charging ahead with its APWA accreditation efforts since January, and in just six months, a lot of progress has been made. The American Public Works Association (APWA) manages an accreditation program that assesses public works organizations regarding compliance with regulatory directives, effectiveness in daily operations, administrative efficiency and regulation, continuous improvement, performance measurement, and a variety of other considerations. Public Works has met two major milestones in the accreditation self-assessment phase; reaching both the 25% and 50% completion point slightly ahead of schedule by assessing and establishing compliance on at least 200 of the 400 practices that determine accreditation. During the self-assessment phase, all Public Works divisions have also been strengthening and completing many policies and standard operating procedures simultaneously, which will better accommodate the transition into the improvement phase of the accreditation process. Recently the department produced an informative video that highlights many of the services provided by Public Works. The video, entitled "Because of Public Works," debuted during the May 20th, 2013 City Commission meeting to much enthusiasm and was subsequently posted online on the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page as well as the department’s page on the official City of Lakeland website. After completing the self-assessment and improvement phases, Public Works will invite subject matter experts from other accredited organizations in Florida to provide an on-site evaluation simulation to determine our readiness for final evaluation. Finally, Public Works will undergo a final evaluation by the APWA’s Accreditation program staff. Out of more than 29,000 Public Works agencies in North America, less than 100 are accredited by the APWA. Only seven of those accredited agencies are from Florida. With the effort being put forth by City of Lakeland Public Works employees in exceeding expectations for milestone accomplishment, outreach, and improvement, the department expects it will meet or beat the 3-year average accreditation timeline. With the momentum and achievements that have been made, City of Lakeland leadership is looking forward to ultimate success in the journey to APWA accreditation! STAY CONNECTED ONLINE www.lakelandgov.net 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 L O G O N. T U N E I N. G E T C O N N E C T E D. www.lakelandgov.net IN PERSON Lakeland Electric has partnered with over 50 local businesses including area AMSCOT offices to accept your utility payment.