September 17, 2015
In This Issue
CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE
City Manager Jonathan E. Evans

Dear valued residents, business owners, visitors, and community stakeholders:
 
The intent of this City Manager's Report is to express our thanks and appreciation for your continued support in making Haines City the best it could possibly be. Understanding the challenges that still lie ahead, we as a community shall persevere and overcome. The intent of this message is to inform you that tonight the City Commission adopted the FY 2016 on Second and Final Reading.
 
Our Fiscal Year 2016 Budget is a responsive and balanced budget, but it does not come without its challenges and opportunities. This year's budget process was extremely difficult, but if it were not for the dedication and commitment of the Elected Officials, the City Staff, and the City's third-party independent Finance Advisory Board, none of this would have ever been accomplished. 

Many individuals do not understand the time and effort that goes into municipal budgeting. From multiple meetings with Elected Officials and over 100 hours spent articulating budget perspectives with the Finance Advisory Board and City Staff, our budgeting process continues to be one of the most transparent and well-vetted processes in the state. A municipal budget, or the budget of any government entity, should be a moral reflection of what the organization believes the community's priorities to be. A budget is a spending plan intended to provide public services to the community in the most fiscally responsible and efficient manner. With all major economic indicators showing slight improvement over the past two years, this organization is continuously looking for efficiencies in ways to save our most precious resources. 

While efficiencies are constantly being explored, the most valuable asset that this organization possesses is not infrastructure or gorgeous recreational amenities, but the fine men and women who serve this community as your City Employees, and you as Stakeholders in this community. As an organization, we do not see you as taxpayers; we see you as investors in our goal, which is to continue to provide exceptional public services in a manner that will pay huge dividends in the future. Governments are in the business of providing services that are traditionally not performed by the private sector, and even though profits and revenue sharing is not an aspect of our business, we pride ourselves on showing tangible positive results that benefit our community with wise financial investments. 

When looking at a municipal budget, you cannot merely look at the numbers; you have to look at the entire spectrum to understand that every dollar that is appropriated has a direct correlation with the service. This means that a global perspective must be taken when reviewing municipal financial documents. On an annual basis, the City is required by state statutes to balance our budget and to have an independent third-party agency review our financial practices. Not to mention all the other internal controls we have as an organization. As we look to continuously encourage economic development and growth, we are always mindful of preserving the local character that makes our community a gem here in Polk County. 

As a member of this community and/or this agency, I implore you to get involved in your government, whether that involves reading the City Manager's Report or, more importantly, serving on an advisory board. Your community needs your support and commitment. There is nothing that separates us from all the great cities you have visited across the country and maybe even across the world. It takes visionaries, trailblazers, and entrepreneurs, coupled with a government that is responsive and efficiently run, to ensure prosperity and quality in every aspect of governance. Those same individuals reside right here in our community, and if we all come together with the sole purpose of creating a better Haines City, future generations will look upon us, envious of how we are able to persevere in one of the toughest economic conditions this nation has ever faced. I implore you to read the transmittal memo attached and become familiar with the opportunities, challenges, and direction that our elected leadership and this government is planning to take over the next Fiscal Year. The future of this community is overwhelmingly bright but it will take all of us united to create one Haines City. Furthermore, please review our third-quarter goals and objectives in order to track our progress throughout Fiscal Year 2015; we welcome accountability and want to show the progress we have made in accomplishing the initiatives articulated in our previous year's budget.
 
In closing, thank you so much for the opportunity and blessing to serve this community as your City Manager for the last two years; it has been my honor and distinct pleasure to serve at the will of elected officials who are committed to excellence, accountability, and transparency. Again, may this year be a prosperous one for all our stakeholders and investors. We look forward to providing more positive news in the coming months.

Respectfully submitted, 

Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, MBA, ICMA-CM

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CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE 
City Manager Jonathan E. Evans

Polk County Property Appraiser
Protect your property records with @PolkCountyClerk's new Property Alert Service. With property fraud on the rise, it's more important than ever to monitor your records. 

This FREE service emails registered users each time an official record (e.g. deed, mortgage, lien, etc...) is recorded with their name and/or property information.

 


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LEISURE SERVICES DEPARTMENT 
Director Auburn Taylor   

Library
The Haines City Public Library is back to its regular storytime schedule. We are looking forward to an exciting year of working with students, teachers and families that have recently started back to school.
 
Bring out your creative energy while coloring at our NEW monthly program for adults. Our first theme is Whimsical Gardens on Tuesday, September 22nd from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, we will provide the coloring pages & supplies for grown up coloring. Bring back your inner child!
 
September Movie Dates
September 19thCinderella (2015) 11:30 AM (Espaņol)
September 26thCinderella (2015) 11:30 AM

Employee of the Month
Ms. Gina Wallace began her career at the Library as a part-time aide. With the transition to the new library in 2011, Gina's great organization skills and attention to detail allowed her to assume the responsibilities of a cataloger.  Cataloging is a critical function to any library.  Ms. Wallace has continued to grow professionally while embracing all of the challenges that come with being a cataloger.  

In addition to her normal responsibilities, Ms. Wallace is always willing to jump in and assist with any tasks that need to be accomplished. This is especially true when the circulation desk gets busy.   Ms. Wallace has a thorough knowledge of the library software and is often a resource to others.  Ms. Wallace's knowledge of the Library's collection aides her in being a Readers Advisor, which helps patrons by suggesting reading material.  She is a go to person and respected by her team members. Ms. Wallace is truly an asset to our team of professionals.
 
Athletics
Youth Basketball (Boys and Girls ages 5-14)
Youth Basketball is the largest athletic activity offered by the Haines City Parks & Recreation Department. Youth Basketball leagues introduce basic basketball skills such as passing, dribbling, and shooting.  Major emphasis is placed on personal values, team spirit, fair play, and sportsmanship. Competition is low-key with emphasis on participation.  Registration begins October 1st - 30th, or until the league is full. For more information please contact the Haines City Parks and Recreation Department at 863-421-3700.

Downloads

PUBLIC SAFETY
Public Safety Director Rick Sloan

Below are some of the common scams that are used against people. Some quick research online will reveal many other types of scams that are used against people.
 
To report this kind of activity you can go online to the following websites to make a report:
 
 
 
Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud
Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money.
 
In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money.
 
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications. This scam is growing in popularity; since 2000, the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year, up from five a year in the 1990s.
 
The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person's medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet.
 
Funeral & Cemetery Scams
The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors. In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.
 
Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members' unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill. In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket.
 
Fraudulent Anti-aging Products
In a society bombarded with images of the young and beautiful, it's not surprising that some older people feel the need to conceal their age in order to participate more fully in social circles and the workplace. After all, 60 is the new 40, right?
 
It is in this spirit that many older Americans seek out new treatments and medications to maintain a youthful appearance, putting them at risk of scammers. Whether it's fake Botox like the one in Arizona that netted its distributors (who were convicted and jailed in 2006) $1.5 million in barely a year, or completely bogus homeopathic remedies that do absolutely nothing, there is money in the anti-aging business.
 
Botox scams are particularly unsettling, as renegade labs creating versions of the real thing may still be working with the root ingredient, botulism neurotoxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known to science. A bad batch can have health consequences far beyond wrinkles or drooping neck muscles.
 
Telemarketing Fraud
When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.
 
Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud-what a caller may tell you:
 
  • "You must act 'now' or the offer won't be good."
  • "You've won a 'free' gift, vacation, or prize." But you have to pay for "postage and handling" or other charges.
  • "You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier." You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • "You don't need to check out the company with anyone." The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • "You don't need any written information about their company or their references."
  • "You can't afford to miss this 'high-profit, no-risk' offer."
 
If you hear these or similar "lines" from a telephone salesperson, just say "no thank you" and hang up the telephone.
 
Internet Fraud
While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among some older people makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the web and email programs. Pop-up browser windows simulating virus-scanning software will fool victims into either downloading a fake anti-virus program (at a substantial cost) or an actual virus that will open up whatever information is on the user's computer to scammers.
 
Their unfamiliarity with the less visible aspects of browsing the web (firewalls and built-in virus protection, for example) make seniors especially susceptible to such traps. 
 
Email/Phishing Scams
A senior receives email messages that appear to be from a legitimate company or institution, asking them to "update" or "verify" their personal information. A senior receives emails that appear to be from the IRS about a tax refund.
 
Investment Schemes
Because many seniors find themselves planning for retirement and managing their savings once they finish working, a number of investment schemes have been targeted at seniors looking to safeguard their cash for their later years. From pyramid schemes like Bernie Madoff's (which counted a number of senior citizens among its victims) to fables of a Nigerian prince looking for a partner to claim inheritance money to complex financial products that many economists don't even understand, investment schemes have long been a successful way to take advantage of older people.
 
Homeowner/Reverse Mortgage Scams
Scammers like to take advantage of the fact that many people above a certain age own their homes, a valuable asset that increases the potential dollar value of a certain scam.
 
A particularly elaborate property tax scam in San Diego saw fraudsters sending personalized letters to different properties apparently on behalf of the County Assessor's Office. The letter, made to look official but displaying only public information, would identify the property's assessed value and offer the homeowner, for a fee of course, to arrange for a reassessment of the property's value and therefore the tax burden associated with it.
 
Closely related, the reverse mortgage scam has mushroomed in recent years. With legitimate reverse mortgages increasing in frequency more than 1,300% between 1999 and 2008, scammers are taking advantage of this new popularity. As opposed to official refinancing schemes, however, unsecured reverse mortgages can lead property owners to lose their homes when the perpetrators offer money or a free house somewhere else in exchange for the title to the property.
 
Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams
This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that "there's no such thing as a free lunch." Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize. Often, seniors will be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account, knowing that while it shows up in their account immediately, it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected. During that time, the criminals will quickly collect money for supposed fees or taxes on the prize, which they pocket while the victim has the "prize money" removed from his or her account as soon as the check bounces.
 
The Grandparent Scam
The grandparent scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults' most reliable assets, their hearts.
 
Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: "Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?" When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research.
 
Once "in," the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which don't always require identification to collect. At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent "please don't tell my parents, they would kill me."
 
While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds, the very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer.

FIRE RESCUE
Assistant Fire Chief Stuart McCutcheon

Fire Safety - Smoke Alarms
Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm. If you didn't know that, you're not alone. An online questionnaire distributed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) showed that less than half (42 percent) of approximately 36,000 respondents did not know that a smoke alarm should be installed in each bedroom of the home.

Cook with Caution!
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. 

If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from your stove-top.
 
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...On the stove top, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
 
If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire...Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home. 

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Public Works Director Addie Javed

Curbside Clean-Up, October 17, 2015
It's clean up time!  Round up the junk from your basement, garage, back yard, or attic and get it to the curb for the Fall Curbside Clean-Up.  Here is your chance to place general junk, mattresses/box springs, unusable furniture such as desk, couch, chairs, tables, lamps, tires (without rims) and appliances ("White Goods") at your curbside and Republic Services will pick up the items.
 
How to Participate:
  • Place materials at the curb before 6 AM on October 17, 2015.
  • Do not place materials at the curb two days before the scheduled clean-up day.
  • No Construction Debris:  (fence materials, remodel materials).
  • Please do not attempt to help the cleanup crew load your material.
  • No Hazardous waste items (paint, batteries, chemicals or solvents, no asbestos items, motor oil, or antifreeze).
  • No food waste
Remember to always take items that can be recycled to your 
local community charity organization.
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Development Services Director Richard Greenwood

Balmoral Estates is Under Contract
The first phase of Balmoral Estates, now called Balmoral at Waters Edge is under construction. 




The site development contractor, Jon M. Hall has started the site work by removing and stockpiling topsoil and preparing the base for the future roads.


Site Plan for 24 Townhouses
The developer, Feltrim Group also received approval from the Haines City Commission to incorporate 24 Traditional Style Townhouses featuring front porches and rear garage access.  When all phases of this up-scaled, multi-million dollar "Family Community and Resort" are complete the project will include 24 Townhouses, 230 Single Family homes and extensive amenities including a Clubhouse, Mini-Parks and Gardens, Restaurant, Water Park Resort Pool and Playgrounds.  The developer has already started reserving home sites.
  
UTILITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Utility Services Director Mike Stripling

Construction of the New Roof for Water Plants
Construction of the New Roofs for Water Plant #1 and #2 are well on their way.  At Water Plant #1 (pictured below) is local vendor Watts Construction, Inc.  who came in with the lowest quote and was approved by City Commission on August 6, 2015.  An important part of our jobs here in the Utilities Department is to make sure City Property is maintained and given proper care. The roofs are scheduled to be completed within the next 2 weeks. 



UTILITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Utility Services Director Mike Stripling

Treatment System Upgrades
On August 12, 2015, the Treatment System Upgrades for Water Plants 1 and 2 were posted with Demand Star to receive bids for construction.  The Treatment System Upgrades will consist of installing an Ion Exchange Treatment for the removal of organics in the City wells.  By treating the organic compounds in the wells, the amount of TTHM and HAA5 in the distribution system will be reduced.  

The City desires to obtain 40 ppb (Parts per Billion) for TTHM and 30 ppb for HAA5 (State and Federal regulations limits are 80 ppb for TTHM and 60 ppb for HAA5).  Further Treatment System Upgrades include SCADA and Chemical Feed Systems.  The City has been able to maintain compliance with disinfection byproducts for TTHM and HAA5 through the installation of 53 flushing boxes throughout the City, which maintains chlorine residual and lowers the water age through the distribution system, alleviating time for disinfection byproducts to form.  

Although this method has maintained compliance with the State and Federal regulations, The City strives to conserve water and treat the source of the problem "Organic Compounds" in the wells, providing the highest quality of drinking water for our businesses and residents in Haines City. 

UTILITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator

Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
Alvin Borges
We would like to introduce Alvin Borges to the team.  From the moment he started working for the City of Haines City, he has shown a true interest in his job as the Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator.  Alvin has lots of fresh new ideas for the pretreatment program and has already brought several of these ideas to reality.  We are really glad to have him here at the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF).  He is spearheading a program that not only protects the WWTF, but it also helps in keeping the cost down for the citizens by regulating our industrial users so the plant can be operated much more efficiently, which means less man hours and less operational costs associated with treating domestic wastewater. So thanks Alvin for accepting this challenge with a smile and for being a proud member of the elite Haines City Utilities Team.

"It is my pleasure to announce that I have recently joined the City of Haines City as their new Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator.  Please allow me to introduce myself to you.  My name is Alvin Borges, the newest member of the Wastewater Treatment Facility Division, and I bring with me over 10 years of experience in the regulatory field (pharmaceutical). My solid experience in this field has included working hand in hand with one of the strongest regulatory federal agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which will prove to be very useful in the City of Haines City's Industrial Pretreatment Program.  

I consider myself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join the City's Pretreatment Program.  My commitment with the environment will guide me to take clever steps and ideas to build a strong pretreatment program.  Based on the federal and local regulations, I will enforce the program to keep the industrial users in compliance, so that the City of Haines City will have a cost reduction in their process to treat wastewater.  It has been exactly three month since I started working for the City and I have been working hard to bring up-to-date the industrial user's permits, billing, and documents.  It is a great opportunity to work for the City of Haines City and I hope to contribute to the success of the City's Pretreatment Program."

Mr. Borges, again, the City of Haines City welcomes you and thank you for your hard work and dedication. 

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. Have you "Watched Outstanding Work" within the City lately? Let us know at wow@hainescity.com.