City Manager's Report
Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, City Manager
At the March 6, 2014, Regular Meeting of the City Commission, Chief Rick Sloan honored Captain Brian McNulty for his achievement in completing his Masters of Science Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, and is honored for his commitment to this personal and professional sacrifice for the needs of the organization. In addition, pictured below is Mrs. Janet Jolley Smith, who celebrated her 84th Birthday on March 7, 2014. 

Left to right: Captain Brian McNulty, Resident Mrs. Janet Jolley Smith

and Chief Rick Sloan



It is my esteemed pleasure to report that the 2014 Haines City Community Visioning Retreat that took place on March 4th and March 5th, was an extreme success. The sessions were inspiring and provided Staff and the Community with some much needed direction. This could not have been accomplished if it was not for our Community partners, the Haines City Northeast Polk County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Haines City Economic Development Council. Both agencies were instrumental in assisting in cultivating a Mission, a Vision, and a set of broad goals intended to move Haines City forward. These three important facets will be instrumental as Staff prepares for the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.


Secondly, the interaction and discussions by the City Commission and Staff were utterly remarkable. The City's proposed Mission and Vision statements are as follows:


Proposed Mission Statement: "Our team of professionals will provide our residents and business community with the highest quality services in a fiscally responsible manner through cooperation, strong ethical leadership with a lifelong commitment to enriching lives."


Proposed Vision Statement: "We are a community that celebrates our heritage and diversity while cultivating civic P.R.I.D.E.; we found our heartbeat in the 'Heart of Florida'...come find yours."


P.R.I.D.E.: As adopted by virtue of a Resolution as the City's core fundamental principles P.R.I.D.E., stands for Professionalism, Responsiveness, Integrity, Diversity and Ethics. These fundamental principles are the fabric of our organization and will be paramount in everything we do.


These two policy statements will have a profound impact on the organization and more importantly the community as we embrace the change. The goals that were identified as priorities are overarching in nature but will have an immediate impact as we make sure that everything we do supports both our Mission and Vision, as well as our overarching goals.


Organizational goals:

  • Encourage public and private partnerships.

  • Maintain infrastructure improvements in response to growth.

  • Develop and maintain fiscal policies based on program and performance measures while engaging community involvement.

  • Utilize technology to enhance public services.

  • Create an environment that enhances the quality of life and benefits the community culturally, recreationally and economically.

  • Foster and environment that attracts economic opportunity and sustains economic viability.

  • Provide responsive public services that protects the health, welfare and safety of the community.


The Executive Team of the City of Haines City will be preparing to rollout these fundamental changes to all employees once adopted by the City Commission. The rollout to employees will occur within the next 60 days, all marketing collateral and signage will reflect either the City's Mission or Vision. This cultural shift will not be left on a shelf to collect dust, but merely become a way in which we do business and live our daily lives. This is most certainly an exciting time for Haines City, and as previously mentioned and discussed, this is the first step of changing public perception and charting a new course for Haines City. As your City Manager, I am extremely humbled and honored to have worked alongside such a phenomenal group of individuals with the sole intention of making Haines City the best it can possibly be. In closing, we found our heartbeat in the 'Heart of Florida'... Come find yours.




At the Regular Meeting of the City Commission on March 6, 2014, the City Commission authorize Staff to proceed with the dissemination of the letter granting a 90 day extension for all individuals who were impacted by the fire assessment. It is anticipated that the letter will be sent out within the coming days, of which is intended to inform the citizenry of the extension. A copy of the letter, in both English and Spanish, is available for download, and both will be sent out via regular mail in the coming days. We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your patience as we continue to work through your questions. Information is also available on our website at Information will also be placed on City electronic billboards notifying the public of the extension. All assessments are due no later than June 2, 2014, at 5 PM EST.





The City of Haines City would like to thank all of our excellent, dedicated employees, and volunteers who help make the City a great place to work, live and play. If you have "Watched Outstanding Work" within the City, please let us know at









PRECINCTS 402, 405, 407, 408, 409, 410


Dear Voter,


Your polling location may have changed for the City of Haines City Regular Election for City Commissioner Seat No. 2, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The polling places for the 2014 Municipal Elections are hereby designated as:


  • Precincts 402, 407 & 408 will vote at the Bethune Neighborhood Center (Auditorium), 915 Avenue E, Haines City, Florida 33844
  • Precincts 405, 409, 410 & 414 will vote at the Haines City Community Center, 555 Ledwith Avenue, Haines City, Florida 33844


This is a TEMPORARY change for the 2014 Municipal Elections only.


NOTE: If necessary, a Run-Off Election will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the locations identified above.



Joshua Fruecht, MPA, CMC

City Clerk







** no se olvide de votar **


DISTRITOS ELECTORALES 402, 405, 407, 408, 409, 410


Estimado Elector,


Su lugar de votación, en la Ciudad de Haines City quizás haya cambiado para las Elecciones Normales del Comisionado de la Ciudad Asiento No. 2, que se celebrarán el martes 1 de abril del 2014. La votación será de 7:00 a.m. a 7:00 p.m. Los lugares de votación para las Elecciones Municipales del 2014 son:


  • Distritos Electorales 402, 407 & 408 votarán en el Bethune Neighborhood Center (Auditorio), 915 Avenue E, Haines City, Florida 33844
  • Distritos Electorales 405, 409, 410 & 414 votarán en el Haines City Community Center, 555 Ledwith Avenue, Haines City, Florida 33844


Este cambio es TEMPORAL, solo para las Elecciones Municipales 2014.


NOTA: Si es necesario, se convocará a segunda vuelta el martes 8 de abril del 2014, de 7:00 a.m. a 7:00 p.m., en los lugares arriba mencionados.



Joshua Fruecht, MPA, CMC

Secretario General del Gobierno



The Haines City Police Department is partnering with  Keep Polk County Beautiful for the  Annual Neighborhood Cleanup, which  is Saturday, March 15th, from 7:30 AM to 12 PM. The areas of focus will be the Oakland Community, Hinson Avenue to Johnson Avenue and McKay to McLeod Avenue. Anyone wishing to volunteer please contact Lieutenant Keva Harris of the Haines City Police Department at (863) 421-3636 ext. 226 or (863) 557-2281 or via email at Please assist by cleaning around your property and leave the bags by the curb, we will be happy to pick them up for you. Refreshments will be served and t-shirts will be given to the volunteers.




Haines City Fire Department is proud to announce four promotions at a formal promotional ceremony held February 24, 2014. Congratulations to Driver/Engineer Scott Platukas, Lieutenant Damian Mesa, Lieutenant Jacob Jimenez, and Captain Codi Donahoe.


Engineer Scott Platukas

Lieutenance Damian Mesa

Captain Codi Donahoe

Lieutenant Jacob Jimenez


Captain Codi Donahoe began his career with Haines City Fire Department on March 31, 2006. He was promoted to driver engineer on April 1, 2008.   Codi was then promoted to acting Lieutenant on April 5. 2009.


Lt. Jacob Jimenez started his career with the Haines City Fire Department on August 28, 2007. On February 23, 2009 he was promoted to Driver/Engineer.


Lt. Damian Mesa began his career with Haines City Fire Department on January 3, 2007.


Driver/Engineer Scott Platukas started his career with Haines City Fire Department on August 20, 2007.


After the February 24, 2014, promotional ceremony, the Police Department presented the Fire Department with a Jason Bullard framed "No Greater Love" art piece. The art piece features a hero art image of a firefighter. Mr. Bullard is a self-taught photographer and artist. His "No Greater Love" art series is a tribute to those who serve their communities and county. Pictured from left to right - Captain Kim Miller, Captain William Valencia, Captain Brian McNulty and Captain Paul Combs. A big thank you to our Police Department for the awesome gift!

(From left to right) Captain Kim Miller, Captain William Valencia, Captain Brian McNulty and Captain Paul Combs




Haines City Firefighters are hard workers on the job and can often be found spending their off duty time working hard to help others.


On February 13, 2014, FF/EMT Tana Meredith and FF/EMT Jeorje Mulrooney together with other members of the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.) helped cook dinner at the Ronald McDonald house. The term leatherhead is used to describe firefighters who wear  leather helmets. It is also used to describe the traditional leather helmets worn by firefighters.


Members of the F.O.O.L.S. embrace the preservation of firefighter brotherhood and tradition. They are active in various charity fundraisers and pride themselves in helping disadvantaged children receive Christmas gifts.


 FF/EMT Meredith (middle row fourth from left), FF/EMT Mulrooney (back row second from left)


Lieutenant Brue Mace and Driver/Engineer Scott Platukas, both members of the Orlando Firefighters Hockey Club, played in the March 1st Guns and Hoses Hockey Game. The Firefighters (Hoses) played the Central Florida Enforcers (Police Officers or Guns) at Amway Arena.


The Firefighters played for the Orlando Fire Department Gives Back charity while the Enforcers played for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Scott plays goalie and Bruce plays defenseman or any other position except goalie. The Firefighters crushed the Enforcers by the score of 11 to 1.


Lt Mace (front row third from left), Driver/Engineer Platukas (front row fourth from left)



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 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.


Good news!  The site work permits were issued this week for Zaxby's Restaurant.  This business will be locating at the old Sonic restaurant site, on the west side of US 27, north of Commerce Avenue.  Zaxby's will construct a new 3,540 square foot structure, replacing the 1,488 square foot Sonic building.  Community Development Staff worked diligently to assist the developer with the constraints of the existing Sonics site. Working together with the applicant, Staff was able to use administrative waivers to create a viable project that met everyone's needs.  This newly adopted process allowed for the permitting of this project in the shortest amount of time. Staff has started reviewing the building construction plans, and is also in communication with the sign contractor for this project.  Currently, there is no estimated completion date at this time.


We have also learned this week that Wendy's is in the process of purchasing the vacant lot directly south of the Pilot Travel Center. The permitting process is just beginning, but all indications are that this will be a great project and business for Haines City.


New housing development were down in January with 3 permits issued, but rebounded in February with 17 new home permits out the door. Haines City averaged 12.4 new single family home permits per month for 2013 compared to 11.1 new single family home permits per month in 2012. Indications are that single family home permits will be equal to last year with a trend for a small increase.


The term "Zombie Subdivisions" is used to describe residential developments that, due to the Great Recession of 2007, were either partially constructed or otherwise did not complete the development review process. With the improvement in the economy, there has been an increase in the number of inquiries regarding these types of residential development projects in the City. To facilitate the development of these properties, plus increase the available lot inventory (currently at 565 lots), Community Development staff has been working on preparing fact sheets for 32 projects located within the City.   When complete, we will post them on the City's website, send them to realtors/builders/developers in the Polk County/Central Florida area, and make them available for other agencies that assist with the City's promotional and marketing efforts.


Community Development recently held a pre-application meeting with prospective developers regarding a 28-acre parcel located on the east side of US Highway 27, between Holly Hill Fruit Road and Florida Development Road (across from Ridgecrest Plaza). The applicant proposes to construct a mixed-use development, with an 80-bed assisted living facility, nursing home, parcels for medical offices, and out-parcels next to US Highway 27 for commercial uses. The initial phase of the project will start with the development of the assisted living facility, which will require conditional use approval by the City Commission.


We're rounding third and headed into home, at the Wastewater Facility we have completed all of our structural upgrades and are now starting up the Control Logics upgrades which will allow us to have better and more precise control over our facility with just the click of a mouse. These upgrades consist of:


  1. Replace in place complete the existing PLC-5 with a ControlLogix PLC and all new ControlLogix I/O. Remove unused devices from panel door. Remove all unused wiring.

  2. Clean/Dress up all existing panel wiring to create a finished appearance. Existing PLC-5 parts to be returned to Allen-Bradley for upgrade credit.

  3. Provide new as-built ACAD drawings of rehabilitated PLC Panel and incorporate into final project O&M.

  4. Convert existing PLC-5 program into new ControlLogix PLC. Provide complete documentation and final software O&M.

  5. Provide Wonderware software Muniplatform 5K (tags)/5k/1K (Historian) with two (2) Intouch system platform clients w/ historian instead of the four specified.


So far so good with all of our upgrades and projects this 2013-2014 year and we will definitely be a better and more up to date plant from an operation and technological standpoint. We are really anticipating the completion of our Tech. upgrades don't worry we will keep you posted. Thanks to everyone involved and as always all thanks go to our wonderful citizens.



A Skink Survey is being conducted along the proposed route for the Haines City Walking Trail. These skink types are a protected species through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Faller Davis & Associates is the engineering firm conducting the survey. Crews placed numbered wooden squares along the proposed route. Skinks like to hide under wood, rocks and brush. If you come upon one of these wooden squares (see picture below) please do not disturb or remove them. This survey can determine if Haines City has this protected species living within this area.


In Florida, the gopher tortoise is listed as Threatened. Both the tortoise and its burrow are protected under state law. Gopher tortoises must be relocated before any land clearing or development takes place, and property owners must obtain permits from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) before capturing and relocating tortoises. Applications for permits are available on the FWC gopher tortoise online permitting site. Survey crews did identify gopher tortoise locations along the trail route. These gopher tortoises will be relocated to a safe location.

Sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi)
Blue-tailed mole skink (Eumeces egregius lividus)
Skink Survey Wooden Square
Gopher Tortoise

Haines City would like to welcome Athletic Business to Lake Eva Park! Athletic Business is one of the nation's leading resources for athletic, fitness, and recreational professionals. Athletic Business is read by individuals representing colleges and universities, high schools, park and recreation departments, military branches and bases, health clubs, YMCAs, professional sports teams, stadiums and arenas, sports architecture firms, and hospital and corporate wellness centers.


Born 35 years ago as a magazine devoted to a sports industry just beginning to think of itself as an industry, Athletic Business has grown to become an internationally recognized multimedia brand.


The Athletic Business Conference & Expo is a premier educational event and trade show for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals. The 2014 conference is located in Orlando, FL. We are very honoured that Lake Eva Park and its facilities have been chosen for the site tour for this year's conference.
Food Truck Wars 
Food Truck Wars is coming to a park near you. Is it? YES! Haines City on Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 3PM - 9PM at Lake Eva Park; 555 Ledwith Ave. Food Truck Wars features over 40 gourmet food trucks from all over the state competing for 5 prestigious prizes awarded by celebrity judges. The competition includes 5 categories: The Spirit Award, Top Sales, Delectable Desserts, Casual Cuisine and The Coveted People's Choice Award.   The food trucks are all in it to win it! If you like to eat or simply love trying new foods, you'll love Food Truck Wars. There are lots of choices from Thai and Mexican dishes to lobster and everything else in between. Make sure you leave room for dessert because there will be plenty of that too. Costs run from $3 to $18 with many entrees averaging between $6 and $8. Food Truck Wars combines a festival atmosphere with lots of delicious food choices to create a lively casual dining experience for consumers. Bring your family and friends to this terrific event and find out what all the 'Food Truck Wars' talk is about. There will be a special kid's area and live music from band "Band Haven" for even more fun. Come on out and have fun. Admission is Free / Parking is $3.


City Manager's Office
City of Haines City
620 E. Main Street
Haines City, FL 33844
Next Report - Monday, March 24, 2014

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