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City of Lakeland’s Monthly Newsletter

May 2012 30290-I-0111


Solar Hot Water Heaters: Cut Spending — Save Energy

Law Enforcement Memorial Honors Crispin

Meet Bob Donahay: Parks & Recreation Director

Summertime is almost here. If you’re looking for a great way to cool off in the heat, then look no further. The City of Lakeland has a cure for those summer heat waves! The City’s Parks and Recreation Department has several great ways to get out of the heat—take a dive into one of the City’s great public pools: Gandy Pool (at Kelly Recreation Complex) or Simpson Pool (at Simpson Park). Swimming Lessons In a state with 2,000 miles of coastline, 11,000 miles of rivers, streams & waterways and thousands of lakes, retention ponds, backyard pools and waterparks, the importance of learning to swim in Florida cannot be overstated. Florida has the highest drowning death rate in the US for children ages 1-4 years old. Research shows if a child doesn’t learn to swim by the third grade, they likely never will. Teaching children to swim is a vital skill for drowning prevention, along with other key water safety measures that everyone can take to stay safe in and around the water. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to learn how to swim. The City’s Aquatics staff is prepared to help your children (or you) become great swimmers in just a few short lessons. Classes are offered throughout the summer. Visit lakelandgov. net/parkrec for more information on swimming lessons or to download a registration form. Club Splash – August 6-10 Dreaming of a week of splishin’ and splashin’? Club Splash is five full days of aquatic activities from outdoor fun to aquatic education. Space is limited to 20 spots. Participants must be between 10 and 15 years of age and be able to swim. Cost is $100 for the week. For more information, please contact Gandy Pool, 863-834-3157. Dive-In Movies Just like the Drive-In, but wetter! Pack your picnic basket and lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of movie watching at Gandy Pool or Simpson Pool. Bring your floats, rafts and inner tubes for an enjoyable night of movie watching in the pool. Free popcorn and drinks are served. GANDY POOL JUNE 22 – DOLPHIN TALE | AUGUST 17 – ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS CHIPWRECKED SIMPSON POOL JULY 27 – CARS 2

Getting To Know Your Library

The cost is $3.00 per person or use of “20-visit” pass (Gandy Pool) or “Splash 25 Pass” (Simpson Pool). All movies shown are rated G or PG and are subject to change. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers are permitted. Coolers are subject to search before admittance to facility. Please call 834-3157 for more information. These are just some of the great activities that the City’s Aquatics team has scheduled for the summer. To find out about all of the activities planned, pick up a copy of PLAYMAKER (Directory of Parks, Programs and Special Events) or view it online at

228 S. Massachusetts Ave Lakeland, FL 33801 863.834.6000

Monthly Comparison of Residential Electric Rates


Source: FMEA Monthly Utility Bill Comparison

SOLAR HOT WATER HEATERS SAVE MONEY—REDUCE YOUR FOOTPRINT Typically, 20% of a household’s electricity goes toward heating a hot water heater for a family of four. With Lakeland’s Solar Hot Water Service a family can have their hot water needs satisfied by economically using the power of the sun. There are no equipment or installation charges and there is a fixed charge of $34.95 a month that never goes up over time. So, if electricity happens to increase, a solar hot water heater customer is protected with a fixed monthly rate that stays the same. A customer interested in the solar hot water service must own their own home, be a Lakeland Electric customer and have a roof space that has southern exposure to the sun. Solar hot water service includes an 80-gallon tank and a solar collector that is installed and maintained by Lakeland Electric’s Solar Hot Water technicians. Over its lifetime, solar hot water service can easily save a customer thousands of dollars. The actual amount a family may save depends on how much electricity is generally used for a hot water heater and how much electricity may go up in the future. As part of the program, a solar hot water heater customer will never have to pay for a hot water tank again. And, don’t worry if it rains because the 80-gallon tank is usually more than enough to get customers through the night or a rainy day.

Lakeland Electric customers that are interested in the solar hot water heater service can go to to learn more about the program. Once a customer signs up for the service, a technician will conduct a brief pre-installation site survey and to confirm that their residence will benefit from the service. Then, on a scheduled date, a new 80 gallon hot water tank and solar collector panel will be installed at no cost to the customer. In the following months, a customer will notice that their Lakeland Electric bill for electricity will be lower and in its place they will have a $34.95 per month charge for Solar Hot Water Service that never goes up!

Lakeland Electric

RATES ARE LOW Lakeland Electric’s electric rates are at their lowest point since July 2008, having dropped 19.8%. The cost of energy represents a substantial portion of a household’s budget. Lowering rates helps everyone keep more money in their pockets in these tough times. “We’re delighted our rates are lower,” said City Manager Doug Thomas. “Our locally owned electric utility is committed to providing our community efficient, safe and reliable electricity at a reasonable cost.” In the past decade, natural gas prices were extremely high, creating a negative impact on the economy. According to Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association, “The economic downturn across our country triggered a drop in electric demand, causing fuel prices to fall. In addition, we’ve secured more natural gas supply, which has increased the amount of fuel available. The resulting price drop is great news for consumers.”

National Police Week: A Time To Honor & Pay Respects During the week of May 13, 2012 thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. to honor fallen police officers that were killed in the line of duty here in the United States. In 1962 when then President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date fell in as National Police Week. Today, Officers and supporters from around the world come to participate in events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The week of events is expected to draw between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This year, ceremonies will take on an even deeper meaning, as one of Lakeland’s own will be honored. Officer Arnuflo Crispin who was killed in the line of duty this past December will be honored for his service. As part of the memorial event, Officer Crispin’s name will be unveiled on the national police memorial wall along with the names of other officers killed in the line of duty during 2011. In honor of Officer Crispin and his service to the Lakeland community, a team of cyclists will ride in the Police Unity Tour. The group will set out on the 3-day bike ride from Portsmouth,VA to Washington , D.C. where they will be greeted by Officer

Crispin’s family and Police Chief Lisa Womack at the National Memorial event. Lakeland Police Officers Hans Lehman, Mike Moran, Kevin Parker and Jo Jett are four members of the six-person team. Joining them will be Polk County Sheriff’s Officer Deputy Lyle Tripp and Dayton Ohio Officer Wendy Stiver who recently came down and met the Crispin family at the BBQ benefit held in March. The BBQ benefit, sponsored by local professional barbecue teams, raised an estimated $14,000 to assist the entire Crispin family travel to Washington, D.C. so they can take part in the ceremonies. Here in Lakeland, a memorial service is held every year to honor those officers killed in the line of duty in Polk County. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, May 10 at the West side of the Lakeland Center property. For more information on this event please visit


Meet Bob Donahay Bob Donahay is the new Director of Parks & Recreation. He has been with the Department for 34 years and he actually started as a part-time Recreation Leader at Simpson Park. Donahay said, “I was hired by Bill Tinsley who was the Recreation Supervisor at the time. I am blessed to have one of the best jobs around and my duties have grown considerably over the years from overseeing the basketball, flag football and racquetball programs at Simpson Park to now managing the entire Parks & Recreation Department.” He started with the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department in 1977. Donahay was promoted to Superintendent of Parks in 1998 and served in that position until 2006 when he was promoted to Assistant Director of Parks. He took over at the helm of the Department this February. He said, “I see myself being the Director of the Parks & Recreation Department a long time. It has been a life-long goal and I have been very fortunate to work under three very talented Parks & Recreation Directors during my tenure.” He added, “I was able to see the vision of the Department progress over time and I can honestly say that for a community of our size, we have one of the top Parks & Recreation Departments in the state of Florida.” Donahay stresses that the strength of Parks & Recreation is the employees who make it all happen.

Donahay inherited a very well run Department and he said that staff will build on the framework that is already in place. However, he mentioned that there are some priorities that need immediate attention. “One of my major priorities is to reduce the subsidy at Cleveland Heights Golf Course,” he said. “We already have plans to improve the greens and tee boxes at the facility but our goal is to have Cleveland Heights operate as a self-sufficient operation.” Donahay has outlined that many of the recreation facilities have been in place for decades and his staff will work on maintaining this aging infrastructure. He said,“I have future plans to restore and refurbish the Southwest Softball Complex, the Westside Softball Complex and the Hangers at Tiger Town. These facilities are in need of a facelift.” There are some very exciting future projects that Donahay will oversee and these include the new recreation complex located within the Northeast quadrant of the City and a new skate park. He said, “We are currently exploring a couple of sites for a new skate park and we have several field trips planned to other communities to look at some of the design elements that they have incorporated into their municipal skate parks.” Donahay said, “I am very excited about the Northeast Recreation Complex that is located off Lakeland Hills Boulevard, not far from I-4. We actually have infrastructure funding in 2013 that will

help build some roads and hopefully we can build two little league fields.” He added, “We already have a bridge in place at the entrance to the facility that goes across Lake Crago.” When it’s completely built out this is going to be a wonderful facility with multiple sports fields, a recreation center, swimming pool, tennis courts and nature trails. Donahay said, “I look forward to working for City Manager Doug Thomas and I appreciate this opportunity that allows me to fulfill my life-long dream. The City of Lakeland is very important to me and I am very grateful to work with dedicated employees from all of the Departments as we continue in building Lakeland’s future.” Donahay is a graduate of the University of South Florida. He is married to his wife Debbie who is an Assistant Principal at Lake Gibson High School. They have three adult children Courtney, Robby and Zeke.

Getting To Know Your Library

The Larry R. Jackson Branch Library (formally called the Lakeland Branch Library) opened on January 14, 1995, after the tireless pursuits of community activists for the City of Lakeland to build a new and adequate facility for residents in the Northwest part of town. Among those leaders was Lakeland attorney Larry R. Jackson who died in August of 1997. That same month, the City Commission voted to rename the library in his honor because his efforts to get the structure built in north Lakeland. Today, the branch library is a community hub that offers the same level of services as those provided at the City’s main library on Lake Morton. It is over 13,000 square foot with literary collections for adults and children; The facility features two private rooms for tutoring, a children’s area; a meeting room with a kitchen for refreshments; a media library that consist of audiobooks, 24 public computers with internet access and Microsoft Office software, and free Wi-Fi access through Surf Lakeland. Library staffers would like to encourage the community to take advantage of the resources provided at their community library. In the recent months they’ve been focusing on updating and cleaning up non-fiction and fiction collections housed on site. They’ve noticed that some of the material is outdated and they need to increase the more popular collections. “In some aspects we’re still on Magic and Jordan,” said Librarian Angel Davis, describing some of the outdated reading materials. “While they are important to the history of basketball and sports in general, it’s 2012 and we want to make sure that patrons of the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library have access to the most up-to-date resources as well.” Davis said that bringing in new material is making a difference to visitors. “Along with new material, we’ve noticed that our new labeling has made books more attractive to browsers too,” said Davis. The average monthly usage so far this year at the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library breaks down like this: over 12,000 visitors, circulation of resources nearly 9,000, more than 3,000 computer hours are used by visitors, and visitors had about 3,000 reference inquiries. While those numbers are good, library employees would like to see those numbers increase. They plan to do that by improving customer service, keeping resources current where needed, and increasing activities at the library for students and families. As the busy summer approaches, a popular program has returned, Storytime. Storytime with Ms. Angel is for children ages 2-5 features songs and stories from allover the world. It is free and held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. For a complete list of services and programs available at the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library visit www. or call 834-4288.

GARDENING LECTURES Beautification Board’s Free Series Have you always wanted to learn more about landscaping? Or do you want to be more hands-on in your yard but need some guidance? The City of Lakeland Beautification Board has the perfect opportunity for you…and it’s FREE. The Beautification Board offers a series of FREE garden lectures held: On the 1st Monday of each month at the Lakeland Public Library located at 100 Lake Morton Drive from 6:30pm to 7:30pm And on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library located at 1700 North Florida Avenue from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The lectures focus on specific garden features and landscaping your yard from the planning stage to picking the right plants. Attend a garden lecture to learn how you can landscape your own home. The Garden Lecture Series is presented by the City of Lakeland Beautification Board and sponsored by The Garden Club of Lakeland. 1st Monday of each Month Lakeland Public Library 100 Lake Morton Drive 3rd Monday of each Month Larry R. Jackson Library 1700 North Florida Avenue 6:30 – 7:30 pm In the Community Room

HELP KEEP LAKELAND WATERWAYS CLEAN 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. Pain, pesticides, vehicle fluids, cooking grease and trash disposed of in storm drains gets into our lakes as untreated pollution called an illicit discharge. Even natural materials like grass clippings, yard debris and pet waste pollute our lakes. It’s illegal to leave these things in the street where they may be washed into the storm drains. You can help protect Lakeland’s water resources by: • Preventing yard materials (leaves/grass) from getting into streets and storm water drains • Washing your vehicle over the grass or at a commercial car wash • Disposing of hazardous materials at an approved disposal site or through the City’s household hazardous waste program • Report ‘illicit discharges’ by calling 863-834-3300

Please do your part and help protect our water resources.


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 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.

2011 ANNUAL DRINKING WATER QUALITY REPORT THE QUALITY OF DRINKING WATER TO OUR CUSTOMERS The City of Lakeland, Department of Water Utilities serves 53,108 metered accounts with a population of 163,872 people. In 2011, we distributed over 7.9 billion gallons of water to our customers. WATER SOURCE Nineteen wells (13 wells at the T.B. Williams WTP and 6 wells at the C.W. Combee WTP) drilled 750 feet into the Floridan aquifer, cased and grouted 200 feet below the surface provide raw water to the City’s two lime softening plants. Utilizing a variety of treatment processes the operators control the blending of raw water with softened water to produce water with stability slightly on the scale forming side (utilizing Langlier’s Saturation Index as the primary parameter). After blending the water, it is then filtered utilizing dual media filters consisting of anthracite and sand. The finished water is then delivered to the transmission/distribution system using high service pumps to maintain system pressure. Chemical addition includes calcium hydroxide (lime) and anionic polymer in the lime softening process, starch for sludge conditioning, fluoride for dental health, phosphate for calcium chelation prior to filtration and chlorination to 1.7 ppm free chlorine residual for disinfection. SOURCE WATER ASSESSMENT AND PROTECTION PROGRAM Size of Assessment Area: For this community system, a 5-year ground water travel time around each well was used to define the assessment area. The 5-year ground water travel time is defined by the area from which water

DEAR CITY OF LAKELAND CUSTOMER: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that utilities issue an annual “Consumer Confidence” report to customers in addition to other notices that may be required by law. This report details where our water comes from, what it contains, and the risks our water testing and treatment are designed to prevent. The City of Lakeland is committed to providing you with the safest and most reliable water supply. Informed consumers are our best allies in maintaining safe drinking water. We are proud to report that the water provided by The City of Lakeland meets or exceeds established water-quality standards.

NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATION COMPLIANCE For more information, or to request a copy of this report, call the City of Lakeland at (863) 834-6802. The water plant operator on duty will be glad to answer any questions. Water Quality Data for your community water system is available at http://www. will drain to a well pumping at the average daily permitted rate for a five year period of time. Number of Wells: 19 The Department of Environmental Protection has performed a Source Water Assessment on the T.B. Williams and C.W. Combee Treatment Plants in 2011. The assessments were conducted to provide information about any potential sources of contamination in the vicinity of our wells. There are 15 potential sources of contamination identified for this system, all with a moderate range susceptibility level. The assessment results are available on the FDEP Source Water Assessment and Protection Program website at AN EXPLANATION OF THE WATER QUALITY DATA TABLE The table shows the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2011 and includes test results in earlier years for contaminants sampled less than once a year. For contaminants not required to be tested in 2011, test results are for the most recent testing done in accordance with the regulations. The table on the right contains the name of each substance, the highest level allowed by regulation (MCL), the ideal goals for public health (MCLG), the amount detected, the usual sources of such contamination, footnotes explaining our findings, and a key, referencing units of measurement. Definitions of MCL, MCLG, MRDL and MRDLG are important. MAXIMUM CONTAMINANT LEVEL OR MCL The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology. MAXIMUM CONTAMINANT LEVEL GOAL OR MCLG The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety. MAXIMUM RESIDUAL DISINFECTANT LEVEL OR MRDL: The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. MAXIMUM RESIDUAL DISINFECTANT LEVEL GOAL OR MRDLG: The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health.


Key to Table: AL= Action Level MCL= Maximum Contaminant Level MCLG= Maximum Contaminant Level Goal pCi/L = Pico curies per liter (a measure of radioactivity in water) ppm= parts per million or milligrams per liter (mg/l) (One part by weight of analyte to 1 million parts by weight of the water sample)., ppb = parts per billion(One part by weight of analyte to 1 billion parts by weight of the water sample),or micrograms per liter (Âľg/L) n/a= Does Not Apply ND= indicates that the substance was not detected by laboratory analysis.


If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Lakeland is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include: (A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife. (B) Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming. (C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses. (D) Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems. (E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations, which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the rest of the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Water-Quality Table Footnotes: Although we ran many tests, only the listed substances were found. They are all below the MCL required.

May 2012 Access Lakeland  

Access Lakeland is the City of Lakeland's citizen newsletter that is distributed each month with Lakeland Electric utility bills.

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