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City Manager's Report
Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, City Manager
On February 6, 2014, in honor of Black History Month, the City Commission recognized the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Central Florida, the Haines City Northeast Community Revitalization Group, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), with a Proclamation honoring the month of February as Black History Month.
Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Commissioner Horace West, Vice Mayor Ronnie Cotton, Mayor Don Mason, Commissioner H.L. Roy Tyler, Commissioner Ken Kipp, L.D. Wilcox (NAACP), Cynthia Downing (NAACP) & "Chitown" (Buffalo Soldier Motorcycle Club of Central Florida).   
Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Commissioner Horace West, Vice Mayor Ronnie Cotton, Commissioner H.L. Roy Tyler, Commissioner Ken Kipp, Mayor Don Mason, Sameka Atkins (Haines City NE Revitalization Group).
At the February 6, 2014, Regular Meeting of the City Commission, the Safety Abuse Violence Education (S.A.V.E.) graduation essay winners read their winning essays before the City Commission. The students did an awesome job in understanding the concept Officer Garrison taught them during the program, and proved it in their thoughtful and meticulous writings, where they portrayed a message of staying out of trouble, staying out of drugs and doing the right thing. Haines City is extremely proud to have such wonderful and bright youth, and wishes them the very best in their lives and their future.     
  Pictured above are the (3) essay winners of the SAVE Graduation program, along with Police Chief / Interim Fire Chief Rick Sloan, and Haines City Police Officers involved in the SAVE program. 
City Manager Jonathan Evans 

City Manager Jonathan Evans reports that today in the Lakeland Ledger, an article was printed stating that the Polk County Property Appraiser Marsha Faux has predicted that the value of the county tax roll could increase by 6%. Now as an editorial note, this is very promising news; yet, the numbers in Haines City might be slightly different. Nevertheless this is very good news, please remain optimistic.

On February 6, 2014, at the Regular Meeting of the City Commission, Staff was directed to draft a Resolution to allow for an extended payment period for the Fire Assessment that has been levied. This Resolution is scheduled to be discussed at the February 20, 2014, Regular Meeting of the City Commission. If passed, notification will be mailed out upon adoption, the letter will highlighting the specifics of the Resolution. As expected, we've been inundated with phone call and emails, and we ask for your continued patience as we work through our list. For more information please visit hainescity.com/fireassessment.   

Fleet Maintenance Staff 

Team members from Streets and Stormwater crews, along with the inmate crew from Polk Correctional Institute, began the pour of the concrete pad located at the Public Works Department. The pad is adjacent to the Fleet Maintenance shop. Last year, the Public Works Department purchased the old Inspection Station building that was located on Baker Avenue and SR 17/92 N where the new Health Department is now located. Once the concrete has cured, crew members will begin the erection of the building which will serve as bays for mechanics to be able to maintain and service large vehicles and equipment out of weather elements. This building will be a great addition for Fleet Maintenance Staff. The guys performed a great job on this task!



CSX Railroad Crossing 

CSX closed the Railroad Crossings on the following locations on Wednesday evening, February 5, 2014: 

  • Main Street at Railroad Avenue 
  • 3rd Street N. at Railroad Avenue 
  • SR 17/92 at McKay Drive

The purpose of these closures is to conduct their regular maintenance. CSX workers replaced the rail along the above mentioned section of the railroad track. Specifically, where the rails cross through the crossings, asphalt and railroad timbers were removed in order for workers to be able to replace the sections of old rail with new rail. Through the night, asphalt and timbers, along with the old rail, were removed. New rail was replaced from the McKay Drive crossing to the Main Street crossing. On Thursday morning their progress was found to be moving right along. New railroad timbers were re-installed at the McKay and 3rd Street crossings, and workers at the Main Street crossing were replacing timbers. An asphalt crew was waiting on asphaltic materials to arrive at the McKay crossing. McKay Drive and 3rd Street crossings were expected to be completed by Thursday, February 6, 2014, and Main Street by Friday, February 7, 2014. Detour routes are listed below.


McKay Drive:

  • Take US 27 to W. Johnson Avenue to McKay Drive.

  • Lee Jackson Hwy off SR 17/92 (across from Publix) to La Foley Ave to F Street N to Langston Avenue to McKay Drive.

3rd Street N/RAILROAD AVE - (HCCGA-Burris):

  • US Hwy 27 to Railroad Avenue.

  • Lee Jackson Hwy / 12th St N. - turn west to Citrus Ave to 8th Street N. then south to Claude Holmes Sr. Avenue & 7th Street N. turn south to Railroad Avenue.

Main Street:

  • SR 17/92 to 10th Street N. turn west on Main Street]


Employment Opportunities 

The City is currently recruiting for the following positions:


  • Police Officer
  • P/T Custodial Maintenance in Leisure Services/Facility Maintenance
  • P/T Recreation Aide in Leisure Services  

For more information about these positions and application instructions, please visit the employment opportunities section of the City's website at  www.hainescity.com/employment.


Blood Drive  

There will be a blood drive at City Hall on Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. For more information or to make an appointment online, please visit oneblood.org. 

Candidate Qualifying

Candidate Qualifying for City Commissioner, Seat No. 2 will be accepted by the City Clerk at City Hall, 620 E. Main Street, Haines City, Florida 33844, from:


12:00 PM , MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2014


12:00 PM, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2014


For additional information regarding the names of candidates, voting precincts, candidate qualifying or election records, please contact Joshua Fruecht, City Clerk, located at City Hall, 2nd Floor, 620 E. Main Street, Haines City, Florida 33844 or by phone at (863) 421-9921 or by visiting hainescity.com/elections.  Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. 

Bidding Opportunities 

The City of Haines City, in partnership with Onvia, Inc., processes its procurement transactions through the Onvia DemandStar electronic procurement system. Onvia DemandStar will enable the City of Haines City to better connect with vendors and improve the overall efficiency of its purchasing operation.


Onvia DemandStar will provide vendors with access to important procurement information. Services that will be available to you include:


  • Electronic Notification of formal bid, proposal, and qualification solicitations
  • Access to project detail information
  • Access to key documents via electronic download
  • Access to Planholders Lists
  • Access to award information



You may register for Onvia DemandStar services, online, at demandstar.com/register.rsp. If you would like to register for your free notification service of purchase solicitations issued by the City of Haines City through Onvia DemandStar, once you are logged onto the web page, select the "Onvia DemandStar FREE AGENCY" option. On the form that opens, furnish the pertinent information for your business, be sure to enter "City of Haines City" in the Agency Name field.


Bid Listings

Access Current bidding opportunities with the City of Haines City. View Bid Listings.

SR 17/S 10th Street Reconstruction 

The reconstruction of 10th Street that began in November of 2013, is moving right along. Crews with Prince Contracting LLC, are currently in the process of installing water mains at road crossings and concrete low profile road barriers as a safety precaution for workers and motorist. Ray Leonard with Water Distribution is the construction inspector for the Public Works Department. Mr. Leonard does the inspections as workers install the water main crossing at the intersection of Robinson Drive. Mr. Leonard makes certain that everything is followed according to plans and installed correctly. A temporary sewer bypass is on the schedule to begin next week so that the crew can reconstruct an active sewer main. The SR 17/S 10th Street Reconstruction Project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015. 



We are definitely going green here at the Haines City Wastewater Facility. Since the addition of the City's Neutralizer Facility, Staff have been able to process sludge at a class AA and have successfully become a licensed fertilizer. We are currently looking forward to further endeavors as far as marketing HC-Bio products and be as helpful and as productive as we possibly can for Haines City. As always, we thank our citizens who allow us to serve and continue to operate smoothly.

Theory of Operation

The Neutralizer® Process is an acid-oxidative batch process used for the disinfection and stabilization of municipal bio-solids. The process uses chlorine dioxide and nitrous acid to convert the WAS to a biologically stable, pathogen free end product suitable for beneficial use and disposal. The process is highly automated to simplify the job for operators and ensure consistent performance.

The process consists of two (2) stages of treatment to achieve disinfection and stabilization. In the first stage, thickened bio-solids are treated with chlorine dioxide for one hour. In the second stage of treatment, the pH of the bio-solids is lowered and sodium nitrite is added to generate nitrous acid. Contact time for the nitrous acid stage of the process is six (6) hours, depending on the dosage of nitrous acid. The low pH converts residual chlorite (reduction product of the chlorine dioxide) to chlorine dioxide or chlorous acid. This results in a stable oxidization reduction potential (ORP) of around +500 mV in the bio-solids. At low pH and high ORP the sodium nitrite converts to nitrous acid which inactivates helminth ova present in the bio-solids. The extensive chemical oxidation of the material reduces the volatile solids content of the bio-solids by greater than 38%, reducing the attraction of vectors to the material.


Commuter Rail Update 

Community Development Director Richard Greenwood reports that Staff recently participated in the Passenger Rail Forum, sponsored by the Polk Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), held at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Also in attendance was City Commissioner H.L Roy Tyler, in his role as the Chair of the TPO. The purpose of this meeting was for the Renaissance Planning Group (RPG),  a consulting firm hired by the TPO, to present its preliminary findings on the opportunities and constraints for the expansion of passenger rail service in Polk County. In regards to SunRail, their conclusion was that in the near future, an express bus service should be considered from Polk County to the Poinciana SunRail station (which will begin operations in 2016).  Long-term (2030-2035 timeframe), there will be sufficient population, density and intensity to justify an initial extension of SunRail into Haines City, with extensions to Auburndale and Lakeland in a future Phase. 


In addition to the presentation from RPG, Haines City Planner Mark Bennett, gave a presentation of the City's planning efforts, emphasized improvements to Downtown and efforts to promote transit-oriented development.  As part of the presentation, Mr. Bennett identified potential opportunities for passenger rail in Haines City, including utilizing the existing bus transfer station at the Hinson Plaza to serve as the terminus for a possible Express Bus to the Poinciana SunRail Station, and the City-owned property just north of downtown as a potential passenger rail station. Paul Senft, President of the Haines City Economic Development Council (EDC), provided the Forum with information regarding the EDC's efforts to advocate for the SunRail extension, and in addition, the importance of passenger rail from an economic development perspective.


The presenters answered questions from the public, and TPO staff received numerous comments from the approximately 25-30 persons in attendance. RPG will review the comments, and refine their report.  The TPO will then use this study as a basis for conducting future studies and programs related to passenger rail. Staff from Community Development will continue to monitor and advocate for an extension of SunRail into Haines City at the earliest possible opportunity.

While hiring an unlicensed contractor may provide a quick fix in the short term, it could result in many serious and lasting consequences, including further damage to your property.


By hiring a licensed contractor, you will have the peace of mind knowing that the project will be done by someone who has taken the time to acquire the appropriate education and proper workers' compensation and/or liability insurance, and who possesses the necessary experience.



If you have a question on someone having a contractors' license contact the Haines City Code Enforcement Division at (863) 421-9937


  • Unlicensed contractors often target the uninformed and inexperienced, as well as the elderly.

  • They solicit door-to-door, frequently traveling in unmarked trucks and vans.

  • They give a post office box address instead of a street address.

  • They convince you to obtain the necessary building permits or tell you one is not needed.

  • Unlicensed contractors often want to do work on the weekends.

  • Beware of people soliciting to do a roof repair, asphalt or texture coating on driveways.

  • Unlicensed contractors may request a large down payment in cash, or a check made out to cash prior to doing any work. They may even offer to drive you to the bank to obtain these funds.



What to Look For: 


The rush to hire a contractor may lead you to hire a dishonest individual or to hire an unlicensed contractor. Hiring an unlicensed contractor could result in many serious and lasting consequences, including financial and further damage to your property.


It is extremely important to be cautious when contracting for home improvements and storm repairs. Educate yourself, become an informed consumer, and protect yourself from dishonest persons who will use your misfortune to their advantage.


Choosing a Contractor:

  • Before you hire a contractor, ask to see a state issued license.
  • An occupational license or a business tax receipt does not qualify an individual to act as a contractor.

  • Ask for references. A legitimate contractor will be happy to provide you with the names and contact information of recent customers.

  • Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the completion date, and total costs.

  • Beware of contractors who claim to be the fastest or the cheapest. Hiring them could result in poor workmanship, inferior materials or unfinished jobs.

  • If the repairs are related to storm damage, contact your insurance agent first to verify your insurance covers the repairs before you sign a contract. Know the steps to file a claim. You do not have to tell the contractor how much your insurance company will pay for repairs, but if you do, get the contractor's estimate first.

  • A contractor must have a license from the "Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation" to perform roofing repairs or replacements, structural additions, air conditioning repair or replacement, plumbing work, electrical and/or alarm work. These jobs typically require a permit. Be sure to check with the Haines City Building Department regarding permit requirements for all of your projects.

  • The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation does not license or have jurisdiction over concrete contractors, painters, drywall contractors, cabinetmakers, tile installers, or anyone doing minor repairs.


Adult Basketball

The Haines City Leisure Services Department is still accepting registration for Spring Co-Ed Basketball. Promote good health in the workplace; this is the perfect opportunity for your company or club. Registration will end February 28, 2014, at 5 PM. All games will be played at the Oakland Gym beginning in March on Thursday nights. Team fee is $250 per team, for more information please contact Janette Carter at (863) 421-3720 or jcarter@hainescity.com. Please click on this link for flyer attached.

Adult Volleyball

Adults of all ages, don't miss out on the perfect opportunity to participate in organized volleyball!  The Haines City Leisure Services Department is calling all churches, clubs, and organizations who would like to compete for fun. Registration is now being accepted for Spring Co-Ed Adult Volleyball League. League fee is $150 per team. Registration ends on February 28, 2014, at 5 PM. All games will be played on Monday nights at the Lake Eva Community Center beginning in March. For more information please contact Jill Latimer at (863) 421-3700 or jlatimer@hainescity.com. Please click on this link for flyer attached.

Summer Rec 

The Haines City Leisure Services Department offers a Summer Recreation program that is full of fun and outdoor educational programs. The program includes regular visits to the Aquatics Center, weekly field trips; a T-shirt and both breakfast and lunch. Parents / guardians must complete a registration form which must include the parents' official picture ID, the child's recent report card, proof of insurance and 2 proofs of residency within the City limits of Haines City. For additional information please contact the Community Center at (863) 421-3700 or jlatimer@hainescity.com for more details.



Haines City's Tennis Professional, Jeff McCardle, recently received his gold lapel pin as a 30 year member of the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association). He also recently upgraded to "Elite Professional" status by completing a written, playing, and teaching exam. All three sections were scored at 90% or above to achieve the new rating. Congratulations Jeff!  

Taste of Haines City  

The City of Haines City and the Leisure Services Department would like to thank all who participated in the Taste of Haines City on Thursday, January 30, 2014. The winner of the People's Choice Award for the best food at the event this year goes to Cam's Catering, who will receive an engraved plaque for their business.  A special thank you to all participating restaurants.

Ribs on the Ridge 

The largest competition sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association, Ribs on the Ridge is also a Jack Daniel's qualifier, and is open to the public!

Date: Friday & Saturday, February 14-15, 2014

Time:  Friday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM  &  Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location:  Lake Eva Park,  555 Ledwith Avenue

On February 14-15, 2014, in affiliation with the Florida Bar-B-Que Association, the Haines City Leisure Services Department will host Ribs on the Ridge at Lake Eva Park. This event will draw barbecue teams from across Florida and other states. Professional and amateur teams will compete for cash prizes, trophies and "bragging rights." This is also an opportunity to expose local residents to the art of outdoor barbecue cooking. This 6th annual event is the largest competition sanctioned by the Florida Bar-B-Que Association and is a Jack Daniel's qualifier.


In addition to the professional and amateur barbecue divisions, other competitions planned are a sauce competition, and a dessert contest on Friday evening and Kid's-Q division, on Saturday. These are open to the public and applications may be obtained from the City's website. Scheduled activities that include live outdoor entertainment featuring local bands will round out the festivities.

  •  Kiss-A-Pig competition.  Your cash equals votes! Please vote for our City Manager or any one of our five City Commissioners to Kiss-A-Pig.  The one receiving the most cash votes will be the winner (or loser) and will Kiss-A-Pig from the stage right before the awards ceremony on Saturday.  You may vote at City Hall or the Haines City Library prior to the event, and at Lake Eva Park during the event.  All proceeds from Kiss-A-Pig will go directly to the Shop With A Cop-Firefighter program. It appears that our City Manager Jonathan Evans, and our City Mayor Don Mason, are currently "snout to snout".  Stop by and vote in this worthwhile project!

Whether you are a backyard cook, a professional or would just like to enjoy good barbecue, we invite you to join us in the fun. For additional information contact the Haines City Leisure Services at ( 863) 421-3700. Please click on this link for flyer attached.



Food Truck Wars 
What better way to kick off your Spring Break than with lots of food & friends!  Food Truck Wars is coming to Haines City on Saturday, March 22, 2014, 3 PM - 9 PM at Lake Eva Park; 555 Ledwith Ave.  This event features over 40 gourmet food trucks from all over the state competing for five prestigious prizes awarded by celebrity judges.  With entertainment from the stage, vendors and kid's activities, there is plenty for the entire family. Mark your calendar and bring your appetite. Please clink on this link for flyer attached.




Computer Classes 

Get connected through a beginning computer class on February 6, 2014, or March 6, 2014. Classes are scheduled from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM at the Haines City Public Library. The cost is only $5.00 per person. Please call and reserve a spot, as space is limited. For more information you may contact the Library at (863) 421-3633. Please click on this link for flyer attached.

IRS e-File Tax Preparation  

FREE Tax Preparation! IRS is offering assistance at the library by IRS certified volunteers. They will be at the library on Mondays from 10 AM - 4 PM now until April 14, 2014. If married, filing jointly, both spouses must be present.  Form 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040 along with Schedules A, B, D, C-EZ, EIC, R, SE are some of the forms that they will help prepare.  


City Manager's Office
City of Haines City
620 E. Main Street
Haines City, FL 33844
Next Report - Monday, February 25, 2014

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