LAKELAND, Florida (July 25, 2022) | The Lakeland City Commission participated in the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Workshop today. The six-hour workshop identified the current budget and outlined fiscal needs for the 2023 budget. he workshop and city commission focused on public safety and future staffing needs in 2023 for the Lakeland Police Department and Lakeland Fire Department. The city board voted 7 to 0 that the advertised property tax rate not exceed 5.7649 mills per $1,000 of estimated property value. This mileage rate has not been officially set or voted on. The formal vote will take place during the budget hearings on September 8e and 22n/a.
The FY23 budget assumes there will be 12 new firefighters and 13 sworn police officers, as well as land acquisition and construction of a new fire hall on the north side of town (Station 8). Additional firefighters and police officers have a budgetary impact of 0.3326 thousandths. The advertised not-to-exceed mileage rate of 5.7649 includes the current mileage rate of 5.4323 and the increase of 0.3326 to cover the cost of additional public safety personnel. A mileage increase of 0.3326 equals an annual increase of $33.26 on a property with a assessed value of $100,000.
The Lakeland Fire Department has identified a need for a north side station based on current growth and operating times. A new Station 8 would reduce response times north of Interstate 4 and relieve Station 3 at 110 West Bella Vista Street. Chief Doug Riley said, “Station 3 completed over 7,000 rides last year and a new station will help distribute some of those rides while improving service to our North Side citizens. We would also like to acquire enough land for the Lakeland Police Department to have a substation on the north side.
The Lakeland Police Department also noted the need to acquire additional officers based on population growth. The Department is considering a phased approach and has requested 13 new sworn personnel for FY23. Chief Ruben Garcia said, “This is a great opportunity to hire the right people for the positions available. This is a well thought out plan with a phased approach as the community continues to grow. A substation for the north quadrant of our community would bring the neighborhood police element to an area that desperately needs it, and it would save travel time for those assigned to the north quadrant of our community.
The Commission voted to hold $700,000 of US bailout funds available as a placeholder for future project discussions. This includes funding requested from the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce for a small business incubator and additional funding for the arts community. The City Commission will hold a budget hearing that will be open to the public on September 8e which will take place in the rooms of the municipal commission at 6 p.m. The FY23 budget will be finalized at the final budget hearing on September 22.n/a.
Town of Lakeland
The city of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and became one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and Gulf beaches just an hour’s drive away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its convenient central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The city owns and operates Lakeland Electric, Florida’s third largest utility and was one of the first to bring electricity to the Sunshine State more than 110 years ago.
For more information on the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net. Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor. Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.
For more information on the town of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social networks.