January 13, 2015
In This Issue



Valued Merchants, Business Owners, City Residents, and Neighbors:


The City of Haines City has created an online survey intended to engage you, our residents, business owners and visitors. This survey is simply an opportunity for you to provide your input pertaining to City services and what you value most in Haines City. 


It is merely a tool for City Administration and the City Commission to hear your opinion on City Services, this is not a scientific survey. Your participation is critical to helping us move Haines City forward. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.


Please submit your survey no later than 5 PM, on April 10, 2015. Thank you again for your participation.   


Take the Haines City Community Value Survey Here. 


Respectfully Submitted,



Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, ICMA-CM

City Manager


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."



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:
  • Assistant Fire Chief - Fire Department 
  • Assistant Human Resources Director - Human Resources 
  • Sr. Budget & Financial Analyst -  Finance
  • Program Technician - Water & Wastewater Department
  • Marketing & Events Specialist - Leisure Services 
  • Parks Supervisor - Leisure Services
  • Service Worker I F/T - Parks
  • Service Worker I P/T - Parks
  • Police Officer - Police Department
  • Firefighter/EMT - Fire Department
  • Utility Analyst -  Finance/Utilities
  • Code Compliance Officer - Police Department
  • Wastewater Plant Operator Trainee - Water & Wastewater Department
  • Meter Technician -  Water & Wastewater Department
  • Service Worker IV - Stormwater - Public Works
  • Service Worker I P/T - Water & Wastewater Department
  • Library Assistant P/T - Leisure Services
  • Custodial Maintenance P/T - Leisure Services
  • System & Network Administrator III - Information Technology

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 .
WOW (Watched Outstanding Work!)

Welcome to Haines City

The "WELCOME TO HAINES CITY" entrance sign now has a new home. It had been removed from just north of the Citizens Bank located on US Highway 27 and found its new home just above the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center near Holly Hill Tank Road. The sign will be getting a face lift with new letters and City Emblem. Workers will also be installing lighting for the sign so that it will be visible at night. Thanks Ed Trail, Richard Myers and Courtney Miller for a job well done.




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.


Notice of Election

2015 Municipal Elections
For City Commissioner, Seat No. 1
Term 4 Years

Regular ElectionTuesday, April 7, 2015All Candidates
Run-Off ElectionTuesday, April 14, 2015If Needed


Qualifying Dates
Qualifying Documents for City Commissioner will be accepted by the City Clerk at City Hall, 620 E. Main Street Haines City, Florida 33844, from:

12:00 PM Monday, February 16, 2015
12:00 PM Friday, February 20, 2015

The salary for a City Commissioner is $6,000 per year. The filing fee for a City Commissioner Candidate is $25 plus 1% of the annual salary ($60)


Polling Locations
Your polling location may have changed for this election. The polling places for the 2015 Municipal Elections are hereby designated as:

Precinct 402, 407 & 408
Bethune Neighborhood Center (Auditorium), 915 Ave E, Haines City, FL 33844

Precincts 405, 409 & 410
Haines City Community Center, 555 Ledwith Ave, Haines City, FL 33844

The polls will open at the polling places at 7:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, and will close at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on the specified day of the election. 


Voter Registration Deadline
Regular Election - Monday, March 9, 2015
Runoff Election - Monday, March 16, 2015


Absentee Ballots
To request an absentee ballot, please contact the Polk County Supervisor of Elections at (863) 534-5888 or visit polkelections.com


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


Public Safety Director Rick Sloan

Uncovering Tax-Related Identity Theft

The IRS uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to make sure your filing is accurate and complete, and that you get any refund you are due. Identity theft can affect how your tax return is processed. An unexpected notice or letter from the IRS could alert you that someone else is using your SSN, however, the IRS doesn't start contact with a taxpayer by sending an email, text or social media message that asks for personal or financial information. If you get an email that claims to be from the IRS, do not reply or click on any links. Instead, forward it to phishing@irs.gov.


If someone uses your SSN to file for a tax refund before you do, the IRS might think you already filed and got your refund. When you file your return later, IRS records will show the first filing and refund, and you'll get a notice or letter from the IRS saying more than one return was filed for you.


If someone uses your SSN to get a job, the employer may report that person's income to the IRS using your SSN. When you file your tax return, you won't include those earnings. IRS records will show you failed to report all your income. The agency will send you a notice or letter saying you got wages but didn't report them. The IRS doesn't know those wages were reported by an employer you don't know.


Dealing With Tax-Related Identity Theft

If you think someone used your SSN for a tax refund or a job - or the IRS sends you a notice or letter indicating a problem - contact the IRS immediately. Specialists will work with you to get your tax return filed, get you any refund you are due, and protect your IRS account from identity thieves in the future.

  • IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit - 1800-908-4490 to report the fraud.
  • Once you have done this, contact the police department of sheriff's office to file a report. 
  • Once this is done, obtain a copy of the report and provide this to the IRS as per their instructions.

Other Steps to Repair Identity Theft

After you contact the IRS, it's important to limit the potential damage from identity theft:

If you have any other questions regarding this topic, please go to www.irs.gov.  They have a wealth of information to assist you with these and other tax related issues.



Central Polk Parkway Update

Development Services Staff attended a Polk Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting on Thursday, January 22, 2015, where an update was given by FDOT District 1 Staff on the progress of the Central Polk Parkway.  Designing of the segments for the Central Polk Parkway, which will run for 30 miles on the eastern leg from SR 60 east of Bartow north to Interstate 4 near the Polk/Osceola County line, has been underway for quite some time.  Design segments applicable to Haines City are Segments 5, 6, and 7.  The completion stage of each and updated maps are shown below. FDOT emphasized the funding for construction of this project has not been approved by the State of Florida.


Segment 5 - East US 27 to CR 544 - 15% Plans Phase

Segment 6 - CR 544 to CR 580 - 15% Plans Phase


Segment 7 - CR 580 to US 17/92 - Design Phase


New Sidewalks, Bike Paths and Trails Under Construction

One of the key components of the CityView Selected Area Plan and the corresponding Parks and Open Space Plan that was created in 2007-2008, was the emphasis on sidewalks, bike paths, and trails.  As a result, both documents contain provisions for these types of facilities.  Using the Plans as a guide, the City applied for enhancement grants thru the Polk Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) to receive funding from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  In 2009, the City applied for a grant for the Sixth Street Streetscape Project, which will soon be starting.  In 2011, the City applied for and received funding for the Haines City Trail.  Construction for Phase 1 of this Trail has started, and the City will be applying for Phase II (from Grace Avenue south to CR 544, west to the Post Office) this year.  If approved, funding will be set aside in the upcoming FDOT 2020/2021 work program.


As a result of the City's hard work, foresight, and aggressiveness in seeking grants, numerous projects will provide our community with different transportation and recreational options.


Bike Path Construction on 10th Street

When FDOT decided to reconstruct 10th Street, Haines City requested that the plan include a 8' wide bike path on the west side of the roadway.  As construction has progressed we can now see the southern segments of the bike path under construction.


Bike Path on the Reconstruction of 10th Street North of CR 544

Haines City Trail - Construction Begins

In 2011, the City applied for and received funding for the Haines City Trail.  Construction for Phase 1 of this Trail has begun.  Phase 1 of this project begins just north of the Downtown at Lily Avenue and extends south along the Haines City Rail Spur and is scheduled to be complete by June of 2015.


View Looking North of Grace Avenue

View to the South, South of Hinson Avenue

The City will be applying for Phase II (from Grace Avenue south to CR 544, then west to the Post Office) this year.  If approved, funding will be set aside in the upcoming FDOT 2020/2021 work program.



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  


Youth Basketball




This is Angel Rosado and he is a very special 8 year old in our peewee basketball league! Angel is very energetic, loving, and happy spirited; the room lights up when this little boy walks through the door! All of our staff and volunteers look forward to Tuesday or Thursday nights, so they can get a high five from this cool little dude! In the coming months, Angel will be traveling to Boston for a medical procedure. It saddens us to see a happy individual that truly loves life, have to go through something like this. Staff would like to recognize Angel for his incredible outlook on life and endearing spirit but would also like to ask for thoughts and prayers for his family as they go through this challenging time.



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, & Character.

Karate will:
            - Develop Self-Discipline
            - Improve Self-Esteem
            - Increase Flexibility & Coordination
            - Instill Self-Respect & Respect for Others
            - Teach Valuable Self-Defense Skills

            - Help to Better Focus & Concentration

*Top Quality Black Belt Instruction*


When: Mondays & Thursdays, 5 PM - 6 PM & 7 PM - 8 PM at the Community Center. 

Fees: $50.00 per month for two classes per week plus a one - time registration fee of $50.00 (includes uniform).


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


Line Dancing

If you are more experienced in line dancing or catch on pretty quickly come to our Wednesday night class from 5:30 PM - 8 PM.  Be sure to bring felt or soft bottom shoes. It's $5.00 per person, per class. You will learn various types of dances to all kinds of music. Check out Dennis Hansen on his website at www.DancinCountry.com.


Coming Soon


Senior Programming

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



Interested in Yoga? Please contact Haines City Leisure Services to join our list!



The Lake Eva pro shop features a full line of Prince products.  The best- selling tennis shoe in the US is the Prince T22. The entire racket line is available for you to demo, and all online prices on Prince shoes, rackets, bags, strings, and accessories are matched or beaten at the pro shop!  Haines City Tennis Professional Jeff McCardle is pictured next to the travelling Prince SUV, as Prince sales representation Miguel Rosa stopped by recently with new product offerings due out this spring.  Stop by the pro shop and Jeff will get you started in the most enjoyable way to get fit in 2015!
Haines City Tennis Professional Jeff McCardle




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.



City of Haines City
Court of Honor Paver
620 E. Main Street

Haines City, FL 33844