January 13, 2015
In This Issue

Taste of Haines City

Taste of Haines City tickets are now available at a cost of $25 each. This year ticket holders have the option to come early for a Craft Beer and Wine Tasting, which will be from 5 PM - 6 PM.  The event will feature local restaurants and caterers offering samplings of their favorites plus complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks. Discounted rates are available for 20 plus ticket purchases at $20 per ticket. 


Date:  Thursday, January 29, 2015

Time:  6 PM - 8 PM 

Location:  Lake Eva Banquet Hall, 799 Johns Avenue


For additional information contact the Haines City Leisure Services Department at (863) 421-3700. 


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 27-28, 2015

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

Location:  Lake Eva Park, 555 Ledwith Avenue


On February 27-28, 2015, in affiliation with the Florida Barbecue 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. 


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 entertainment featuring local bands will round out the festivities.


Whether you are a backyard cook BBQer, a professional, or would just like to enjoy good barbecue, we invite you to join us in the fun. 


For additional information please contact the Leisure Services Department at (863) 421-3700.

Up-Coming Events Calendar

Employment Opportunities 
The City is currently recruiting for the following positions:
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 .

Linda Bourgeois, MMC
City Clerk Linda Bourgeois

As a lifelong resident of Polk County, and an individual with a passion for helping others; Linda Bourgeois has found her niche as a public servant while being employed within the public sector realm.  Her career started at Girls Incorporated of Winter Haven where she was a Business Assistant performing duties revolving around finance, marketing, and educating children.   In 2008, Linda became the Deputy City Clerk of a local municipality and began tailoring her education to enhance her new position.  In 2010, she was promoted to City Clerk.


Qualifications for the job required a lower level Certified Municipal Clerk designation, and she obtained those credentials in September of 2010.  Linda also decided to attend Polk State College and pursue her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management with a concentration in Public Administration, while concurrently studying for her Master Municipal Clerk (MMC.) credentials. She earned her MMC designation in April of 2012, and is anticipated to earn her Bachelor's degree next year.


Within Polk County, Linda is an active member of the Golden Key National Honour Society, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.   She takes extreme pride in giving back to the community in which she works, her education, and her work product.  As a result, Linda's career has blossomed to an all new level as she recently became the City Clerk for Haines City. Linda is distinguished by her passion for helping people, her focus on collaborative team-building, and her commitment to meeting customer satisfaction.  

Brian Ross, MPA, CGCIO

Information Technology Manager Brian Ross

A twenty-six year veteran of bringing information technology to government entities, Haines City is excited to welcome IT Manager Brian Ross.  Brian has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.  He is also one the first IT leaders in the state of Florida to earn national certification as a Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO).  


Additionally, Mr. Ross has served on boards for both the High School Programming Tournament and the Department's Advisory Board for the University of Central Florida Department of  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  Before coming to Haines City, Mr. Ross spent fourteen years building and managing IT operations while introducing and expanding the use of technology for the City of Ocoee.  He has also spent time working in IT for the City of Orlando and the University of Central Florida, as well as, being an adjunct professor with Valencia State College.  Mr. Ross is excited to be part of a dynamic team in Haines City and is looking forward to the many opportunities that lay ahead for the City.

WOW (Watched Outstanding Work!)

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 wow@hainescity.com.


Public Safety Director Rick Sloan

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Having Your Electronic Devices Stolen?

Many times, often after the fact, we think about what we could have done to prevent valuables from being stolen. Here are a few tips to help you protect your personal electronics and laptop computer, whether you're at home, school, or on the road:

  • Do not leave your devices in an unlocked vehicle, even if the vehicle is in your driveway or garage. 
  • Never leave your devices in plain sight, even if the vehicle is locked - that's just inviting trouble. If you must leave your devices in a vehicle, the best place is in the trunk. If you don't have a trunk, try to conceal them or fit them under a seat and lock the doors.
  • Carry your devices in a nondescript carrying case, briefcase, or bag when moving about. Placing these items in a case designed for computers is an immediate alert to thieves that you have these valuable devices.
  • Do not leave a meeting or conference room without your laptop or personal electronics. Take them with you.
  • Lock your device in a safe place when not in use or use a cable lock that wraps around a desk or chair leg.
  • Apply distinctive paint markings (such as indelible markers) to make your laptop unique and easily identifiable.
  • Consider purchasing a theft alarm system specially made for laptops and other electronics.
  • Be aware that if your computer is stolen, automatic log-ins can make it easy for a thief to send inappropriate messages with your account. Use password protection and require a person to log in every time the computer goes to sleep or powers down.
  • Back up your information using cloud-based storage or on portable media such as a CD, DVD, flash drive, or other backup media. Store the discs someplace safe.

New Fire Station Update

Pardon our dust! As you may have noticed, the Haines City Fire Station is currently undergoing major construction, and is progressing well. Our new home is taking shape, and completion is projected for July 2015, according to M. W. Mitchell Construction. Stop by and peer over the fence, you will see the building taking shape as the footers are complete, preliminary plumbing/electric runs are also complete and slab has been poured out. We are all extremely excited to see the future home of the Haines City Fire Rescue Department! Take a look at its current progress in the time-lapse videos below:


Time Lapse Video Haines City New Fire Station - Utility View
Time Lapse Video Haines City New Fire Station - Utility View

Time Lapse Video Haines City New Fire Station - North Bay View
Time Lapse Video Haines City New Fire Station - North Bay View

City Commission Updates Sign Ordinance

The City Commission, by the adoption of Ordinance 14-1476 updated the City's sign regulations to allow Electronic Display (HD) signs.  These signs may be allowed after approval by the City Commission as a Conditional Use and be subject to certain requirements.  


Example of Electronic Display (HD) Sign
Example of Electronic Display (HD) Sign


Not only does this change recognize new trends and technology within the sign industry, it also provides the opportunity to improve the appearance of the community by eliminating the requirement for signage that lists multiple tenants.  As stated in the International Sign Association's Model Regulatory Guidelines, multiple tenant identification along the street often results in multiple elements and clutter which are contrary to the principles in this model code.  Please contact the Development Services staff if you are interested in exploring this new sign option.


New Housing Continues to Steadily Increase in Haines City for 2014

With the issuance of (19) new single family homes in November and December a total of (165) new homes were constructed in Haines City in 2014. When compared to 2013 this represents an increased by 11%.


Also on January 8th the City Commission approved (2) new housing projects, Balmoral Estates and The Resort & Country Club at Lake St Charles. Balmoral Estates, formally known as Carols Cove, will feature (244) single family home sites and is located east of Highway 27 and west of Peninsular Drive. This enhanced amenity community will be gated and include a neighborhood clubhouse and pool with home prices projected to range from $250,000 to $400,000. Balmoral Estates is being marketed as "the premier residential neighborhood in Haines City". 


The Resort & Country Club at Lake St Charles, located east of Highway 27 and south of Massey Road, will feature (457) single family residential homes and (50) townhomes to be marketed as short-term vacation homes. Upon final approval and construction, these projects will more than double the total number of residential building sites available for permitting in Haines City.



The City of Haines City has recently identified City owned properties that will not be utilized in the future and have offered them to the public for sale. The properties listed below have had signs installed and are ready to have offers made for purchase. Some of these properties are economic development opportunities and further information about these properties is available by calling (863) 421-9933.




  • Valencia Avenue
  • Navel Circle
  • Blossom Court
  • 1126 Ave. J
  • 1017 Ave. B
  • 1613 N. Bartley Street
  • 1611 N. Bartley Street
  • Johnson Avenue
  • 121 North 8th Street 
  • Langston at F Street 
  • 1102 Ave. G 
  • Patterson at Orchid  



NEW! Karate (style: Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate) 

Join Sensei Harry Vidal for Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karate! Your child will not only learn the ABC's of self-defense, but more importantly, the ABC's of life: Attitude, Behavior, and Character.


Karate will: 

  • Develop Self-Discipline
  • Improve Self-Esteem
  • Increase Flexibility & Co-ordination
  • Instill Self-Respect & Respect for Others
  • Teach Valuable Self-Defense Skills
  • Help to Better Focus & Concentration

*Top Quality Black Belt Instruction*


Where: Haines City Community Center

When: Mondays & Thursdays, 5 PM - 6 PM & 7 PM - 8 PM 

Fees: $50 per month for two classes per week plus a one time registration fee of $50 (includes uniform).


For more information, please contact Haines City Leisure Services at (863) 421-3700 or Sensei Harry Vidal at (407) 406-9946.


Coming Soon!

Senior Programming


We are currently gathering interest for senior card groups or drop in card game programs. If you are interested in joining a card group, or participating in a drop in card club, please contact Haines City Leisure Services at (863) 421-3700.





For just $35, you can purchase a custom-inscribed 4 X 8 inch paver at Haines City's Military Court of Honor. Newly purchased pavers are installed twice a year. Purchases made between now and May 8, 2015 will be installed by Memorial Day. Purchases made after May 8th will be installed by Veterans Day 2015.


Send a completed application with your payment to:

City of Haines City
Court of Honor Paver

620 E. Main Street
Haines City, FL 33844


Our Mission


"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."
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