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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Lakeland, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Lakeland, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Lakeland, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Lakeland, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Lakeland, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Lakeland, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Lakeland, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Lakeland, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Lakeland, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Lakeland, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Lakeland, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Lakeland, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Lakeland, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Lakeland, FL

Latest News in Lakeland, FL

Lake Morton Welcomes New Restaurants on East Palmetto Street

Heath Phester, 31, gave up years of teaching to pursue his dream of owning a pizza shop.That dream came to fruition on Nov. 29 when the Lakeland native opened “Pizza Daddy’s” inside the Lake Morton Market and Deli at 811 E. Palmetto Street. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.“I’ve always had a passion for pizza. I always wanted to open my own restaurant. This is like a perfect...

Heath Phester, 31, gave up years of teaching to pursue his dream of owning a pizza shop.

That dream came to fruition on Nov. 29 when the Lakeland native opened “Pizza Daddy’s” inside the Lake Morton Market and Deli at 811 E. Palmetto Street. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

“I’ve always had a passion for pizza. I always wanted to open my own restaurant. This is like a perfect start. The neighborhood has been great. Everyone has been really receptive,” said Phester.

Phester said he wouldn’t have been able to open the shop without the help of friends and family. The Rochelle School of the Arts and Lakeland High School graduate quit teaching math and science at Edgar L. Padgett Elementary School last spring and started working at pizza shops in Tampa, learning the craft. A lifelong pizza lover, from there he began to create his own recipes and test them on Tampa bar-goers over this past summer.

“I would go outside bars, in like a tent, bars that didn’t sell food, and I’d just sell pizza outside the bars. That went really well. I could make enough money but it was just a lot to set up a whole pizza oven and I just wanted to find my own spot. But, I did that for like a month or two, testing out different dough recipes. Different sauce recipes. Different brands of cheeses and pepperonis,” Phester said.

In the fall, while walking into his neighborhood deli, he realized it had a commercial kitchen that was available for lease.

“It all happened really fast. It wasn’t supposed to happen that fast … It went from no name, no idea, no concept to the whole thing in like a month or two. It’s crazy,” Phester said. “I had a friend of a friend make the logo. The menu I made. I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of people.”

Phester said the Lake Morton community has shown him so much support, posting in the neighborhood group and in other local Facebook food groups like “Polk County Restaurants & Reviews” to let folks know the food locale exists.

“I would literally be standing in front of the pizza oven selling no pizzas if it wasn’t for the community. I didn’t have time to advertise or post anything, and so the community coming in and saying ‘Oh, we love this pizza place’ and spreading it, (without them) we may not be here right now,” Phester said. “They have brought in so much business and have been so supportive and nice.”

Other restauranteurs also lent a hand. Chris McArthur, who owns Black and Brew, wrote on his Facebook page: “Run, don’t walk to Pizza Daddy’s. This hidden gem is located in the Lake Morton Deli … Outstanding pizza made with high quality ingredients. The dough is the best in Lakeland. Not even a contest.”

Ryan Neal, a close friend who owns Sabu Ramen inside the Joinery food hall in downtown Lakeland, was really helpful during his opening week. “He just came in and worked a couple hours as a cashier. Him coming in was like crucial,” Phester said.

According to Phester, his artisan pizzas are unique because the pizza dough is made in-house, and the tomato sauce is made from scratch. He said he also uses quality brands of cheese and pepperonis.

“Our bestseller is ‘Not your Momma’s.’ It’s spinach, ricotta, pepperoni and mushroom. That’s definitely our best pizza … Our ‘Grandpa’s farm’ is our meat lovers. It has meatballs, sausage, ham, bacon and pepperonis. That’s really popular as well,” Phester explained.

Besides specialty and cheese pizzas, Pizza Daddy’s also serves wings, flatbread subs, chicken tenders, fries, balls of dough seasoned with Italian seasoning called “dough poppers” and “cheezy bread.”

While he was bold enough to go for his dreams, like any other entrepreneur, imposter syndrome and negative thoughts still sometimes creep into Phester’s head and make him nervous.

“I am scared. I am nervous. I am terrified we’re going to show up and no one is going to come all day long and I’m going to go bankrupt and I’m not going to be able to pay the loan back … That normal stuff. Honestly, that’s the worst. I’d say that’s the biggest challenge,” Phester said.

Pizza Daddy’s isn’t the only new offering in the East Palmetto Street corridor, which is conveniently located across from the Lakeland Public Library and the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College.

The Peach House” is set to open in the repurposed historic home that used to house the Red Door at 733 E. Palmetto St. One of its operators is Jeannie Weaver Lopez, who owns the Revival cocktail bar in downtown Lakeland.

The Lakeland City Commission voted unanimously in June to transfer a conditional use permit from the Red Door’s owner, Richard DeAngelis, to Peach House Lakeland LLC. The conditional use permit calls for “maximum indoor seating capacity of 47 seats, associated alcoholic beverage sales of beer, wine and liquor, and outdoor seating” for 43.

An opening date and details about the menu, décor, hours and theme have not yet been announced.

At 719 E. Palmetto St., closer to Lake Morton and next door to Mr. Fish, there is a recently renovated historic three-unit building. Landlord Scott Kontny, who owns LoanTrust Mortgage, said Michigan Bros LLC has signed a lease and is expected to open an ice cream shop in Unit 3 some time in April.

The Michigan Bros — Jose Martinez and Max Miller — have submitted plans for a Motown-themed shop called Mootown Scoops.

“I am super excited about Mootown. I think the foot traffic around the area and with the library across the street will make them very successful,” said Scott Kontny.

Kontny said he’s in negotiations with a med spa to occupy the building’s other two units.

Built in 1925 by the Linebergers, the building originally housed a grocery store and pharmacy until the 1940s. In the 1950s, it also housed the Lake Morton Barber Shop, Kontny said. According to Polk County property records, the Linebergers sold the building to the Bronson family in 1973, and Kontny said Mr. Bronson used it to operate the Lakeland Rubber Stamp.

Then, it was sold to a Marco’s Pizza franchisee in 2017, who Kontny said backed out when they realized the extent of renovations needed. That’s when Kontny and business partner, Ryan Smith, who owns KL Smith Roofing, used their LLC, 3CP LLC, to purchase the building in September of 2020 for $332,000, according to Kontny.

“This project has brought me to love older buildings and the history that lies within the walls. I have reached out to some of the Linebergers and hopefully next fall we will have an official naming ceremony to name the building for the original builder. I’m still looking for some more local Linebergers to get some pictures or more history on the building. I have spent countless hours looking into this building’s history and have loved every minute of it!” Kontny said.

But the project hasn’t been entirely joyful. Kontny said they’ve had to overcome quite a few hurdles.

“The property was in major disrepair when we bought it. We basically gutted it to the shell and started over. (The) biggest hurdle was getting equipment and water. The city’s drill truck was down and couldn’t get parts during (the pandemic) so we basically had to wait. (It was the) same with electrical equipment,” Kontny explained.

The original plan for the building was to turn it into a mini food hall and open in 2021, but Kontny said that didn’t work out.

“We were approached by another local restauranteur about building it out into three separate restaurant units like a mini Joinery. We loved the idea and spent almost a year trying to go from concept to reality and in the end the parking didn’t work for the group to get the liquor license they needed to make a successful run,” Kontny explained.

Kontny said the project has taught him to be patient and said “the city has been very accommodating but with COVID, everything took time.”

60-foot-deep sinkhole opens in lawn of Polk County home

POK COUNTY, Fla. – Fire crews in Polk County are monitoring a sinkhole that opened up in a resident’s front yard this weekend.The county fire rescue posted pictures of the sinkhole Saturday on Facebook.Recommended VideosSinkhole opens near homeThis is a modal window.No compatible source was found for this media.200-foot sinkhole shallows homesThe sinkhole opened at a home on Royal Crest Drive in Highland City, a community southeast of Lakeland.Fire crews say...

POK COUNTY, Fla. – Fire crews in Polk County are monitoring a sinkhole that opened up in a resident’s front yard this weekend.

The county fire rescue posted pictures of the sinkhole Saturday on Facebook.

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Sinkhole opens near home

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200-foot sinkhole shallows homes

The sinkhole opened at a home on Royal Crest Drive in Highland City, a community southeast of Lakeland.

Fire crews say the hole was about 15 feet wide and 60 feet deep.

As of right now, the sinkhole is not a threat to the nearby road, but crews are monitoring it over the next few days to make sure it doesn’t get any bigger.

How do sinkholes form?

Florida law defines a sinkhole as “a landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. A sinkhole forms by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved.”

Geologically, Florida’s land is made up of porous limestone, a key part of the state’s drinking water system, the Florida aquifer system.

When water like rain flows through the porous limestone, it slowly dissolves the aquifer’s limestone forming a landscape called karst, known for springs, streams and even sinkholes.

In fact, some of Florida’s lakes are actually sinkholes, like Lake Eola in Orlando.

The water flows through the limestone, sometimes collecting in the joints of the stone, but as more limestone dissolves from the water, those joints become wider, weakening the ground support. Eventually, the ground collapses, causing a sinkhole to form.

Lots of things can lead to this happening, according to meteorologist Samara Cokinos: flooding, pumping water from the ground, extended droughts or land development are thought to be factors.

Florida is one of the most common states for sinkholes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

By Florida law, property insurers are required to cover a home if there is a catastrophic ground collapse caused by a sinkhole, but they are not required to cover less severe damage, for instance, if a sinkhole somewhere on your property causes the ground to sink slowly, causing cracks to form in the foundation or even the walls. You can purchase a sinkhole coverage rider to help if that happens.

Public Notice: East Highlands Drive Resurfacing Project

LAKELAND, FL (December 12, 2023) | The City of Lakeland will be paving East Highlands Drive between South Florida Avenue and Cleveland Heights Boulevard as part of the roadway preventative maintenance schedule. The asphalt surface will be milled down to the base on Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13. New asphalt will be installed on Monday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 19. The roadway must be milled first otherwise the elevation of the road would continue to get higher every time a paving project occurred....

LAKELAND, FL (December 12, 2023) | The City of Lakeland will be paving East Highlands Drive between South Florida Avenue and Cleveland Heights Boulevard as part of the roadway preventative maintenance schedule. The asphalt surface will be milled down to the base on Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13. New asphalt will be installed on Monday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 19. The roadway must be milled first otherwise the elevation of the road would continue to get higher every time a paving project occurred. Milling before paving prevents driveway and ADA ramp adjustments due to increasing pavement heights. Milling down the road before adding a hot paving mix is common practice.

This project will be performed during the daytime hours to least impact the residential area. Vehicular traffic will be limited to east bound only from South Florida Avenue to Cleveland Heights Boulevard. West bound traffic will be detoured to East Edgewood Drive and then south onto South Florida Avenue to East Highland Drive. The detour and the west bound closure are in place during the milling and paving operations. As soon as work finishes each day, the road will open to through traffic.

Contact

Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland
863.834.6264
Kevin.Cook@LakelandGov.net

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net. Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor. Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.

LAKELAND, FL (December 15, 2023) | The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that an agreement package has been reached between Lakeland Linder International Airport (LLIA), Visit Central Florida (VCF) and Avelo Airlines that paves the way for the return of commercial passenger air service. The agreement package goes before the Lakeland City Commission for approval on Monday, December 18, 2023.

The City and Avelo Airlines have agreed to terms on an Airline Operating Agreement, Airline Facilities Construction and Lease Agreement and an Air Carrier Incentive Program. These agreements work together outlining specific operating requirements to include fees and incentives based on Avelo’s level of service at LLIA.

Lakeland City Manager Shawn Sherrouse said, “"We are excited to partner with Avelo Airlines to provide passenger services in and out of our Lakeland Linder International Airport. This relationship will further diversify the tremendous economic benefits and services that our community receives from our airport. We are confident that Lakeland will assist Avelo in advancing their founding purpose, 'To Inspire Travel’, and welcome the many visitors that will come to know Lakeland because of the travel options Avelo and the City of Lakeland will provide."

Airport Director Kris Hallstrand said, “This is the beginning of a great business relationship and I believe Avelo is the right partner for our community at the right time. One theme the Airport consistently hears from the community is the growing need for air service. While this announcement heralds a new chapter in the airport’s story, there is still much work to be done before air service starts.”

The official destination marketing organization for Polk County, VCF and Avelo have also agreed to terms on an Airline Marketing Partnership that will promote Polk County to the various markets served through LLIA.

Director of Visit Central Florida Mark Jackson said, “The law of supply and demand even applies to airlines. We are confident that once folks around the country learn more about Polk County, they’ll want to come and learn why we’re Florida’s sweetest spot.” The Marketing Partnership goes before the Polk County Board of County Commissioners for final approval on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

Airport Assistant Director Adam Lunn added, “Currently, the Airport and Avelo are working on plans for required facility improvements. Our team is hard at work planning the improvements needed to accept commercial flights in the future. Some of the work needed includes an expanded security screening checkpoint, parking lot modifications, and aircraft apron markings, among others.”

Avelo Head of Brand and Communications Jim Olson said, “We are excited about the opportunity for Avelo to bring scheduled commercial air service to Lakeland Linder International Airport. In the months ahead, we’ll share more details about our plans for serving Lakeland. We are thankful for the enthusiastic support Avelo has received from the Lakeland community, as well as from city and county leaders. We are especially appreciative of the dedicated professionals at the Lakeland Linder International Airport."

The Lakeland City Commission will review and decide on approval of the agreement package on Monday, December 18, 2023, and If approved:

Lakeland Linder International Airport is in Lakeland, Florida. It is the 95th busiest airport in the United States with over 143,000 aircraft operations taking place annually. The airport is an economic engine bringing over $1.5 Billion in economic impact to the region. Lakeland Linder International Airport is home to the world-famous NOAA Hurricane Hunters, Central Florida Aerospace Academy, the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo and Draken International.

About Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines was founded with a simple purpose — to Inspire Travel. The airline offers Customers time and money-saving convenience, low everyday fares, and a refreshingly smooth and caring experience through its Soul of Service culture. Operating a fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, Avelo serves 44 popular destinations across the United States, including its six bases at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), Southern Connecticut’s Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), Orlando International Airport (MCO), the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region’s Wilmington Airport (ILG), Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). For more information visit AveloAir.com or the Avelo Newsroom at AveloAir.com/Newsroom.

Contact

Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland
863.834.6264
Kevin.Cook@LakelandGov.net

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net. Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor. Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.

Find your ideal Lakeland neighborhood

Looking to find your ideal neighborhood in Lakeland? Of course you are — Lakeland is amazing.This quick two-minute quiz will help you discover where you should put down roots. Or, if you’d rather browse to see your options — and pick up a few restaurant recommendations while you’re at it — you can read about Lakeland’s key neighborhoods below.Anchored by none other than a crystal cle...

Looking to find your ideal neighborhood in Lakeland? Of course you are — Lakeland is amazing.

This quick two-minute quiz will help you discover where you should put down roots. Or, if you’d rather browse to see your options — and pick up a few restaurant recommendations while you’re at it — you can read about Lakeland’s key neighborhoods below.

Anchored by none other than a crystal clear lake (hence the name), this neighborhood offers a dense suburban feel and is rated as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. Close to local universities such as Southeastern University, which offers 100+ degree programs, this area is a prime spot for those furthering their education.

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A historic home lover’s dream, this dense suburban neighborhood is a tight-knit community. Residents often have families, which accounts for Dixieland’s proximity to several schools. It’s also in walking distance of many nearby small businesses.

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Lakelanders looking to connect with culture will find a home around Lake Morton, which has an urban-suburban mix. With an art museum, library, and several fine dining options, it’s easy to fall in love with this neighborhood’s historic charm — and its royal swans.

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Some of Lakeland’s grandest homes can be found in the sparse suburban neighborhood around Lake Hollingsworth. It’s also home to Florida Southern College, the oldest private college in the state. Enjoy sunsets over this 354-acre lake and special events like boat races and ski shows.

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With an influx of new businesses, Midtown is enjoying a recent resurgence as an urban-suburban mix area. It’s now a hot spot for new murals by Lakeland artists, and local businesses are getting a boost thanks to the co-working and entrepreneurship space The Well.

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Looking for something a little quieter? Check out Cleveland Heights, a sleepier, dense suburban neighborhood. Professionals and families tend to move to this historic area — it’s a bit further from downtown, but businesses and restaurants are easily accessible by car.

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Slow down with a home in South Lakeland, a semi-rural area comprised of neighborhoods like Medulla and Lakeland Highlands. With expansive properties and a ~30-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown, this is a great area to get away from it all.

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Be right in the heart of the city with a new home in the downtown neighborhood. Most events and businesses in this urban-suburban mix area are walkable from nearby homes and open to your furry friends.

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If you’ve got the travel bug, this area offers the quickest access to I-4. Residents here enjoy many recreational activities, especially golf fanatics. Life here is slower than in other areas, with a retirement community and plenty of parks.

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Lakeland approves plans for solar farm near Florida Polytechnic University

LAKELAND — Lakeland officials have given the greenlight to what could be one of the largest solar installations in Florida.The City Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow for the development of a nearly 1,400-acre solar power generation facility by Williams Acquisitions Holding Company LLC near Florida Polytechnic University."We view this as a strategic partnership to provide long-term sustainable power generation to this area for a long time coming," said Seth Blackwell...

LAKELAND — Lakeland officials have given the greenlight to what could be one of the largest solar installations in Florida.

The City Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow for the development of a nearly 1,400-acre solar power generation facility by Williams Acquisitions Holding Company LLC near Florida Polytechnic University.

"We view this as a strategic partnership to provide long-term sustainable power generation to this area for a long time coming," said Seth Blackwell, of corporate strategic development for Williams Co. "Natural gas will be here for a long time, to offset this with solar and combine these forces together is where we get the long-term sustainability factor."

The proposed solar field would be built east of State Road 33 and Combee Road and south of University Boulevard. The overall area, 2,044 acres, consists primarily of former reclaimed phosphate mining lands and wetlands. It was designated for Limited Development and as a conservation area.

Williams plans to install photovoltaic solar panels mounted into arrays, each containing approximately 90 panels. The arrays measure 153 feet in length and 13 feet in width at a maximum height of 15 feet. The surface will be able to rotate up to 60 degrees in either direction to track the sun's movement.

"It's hard to imagine, for me, that you could find a better place for a solar farm," said attorney Tom Cloud, representing Williams Co., to commissioners at Friday's agenda study.

The proposed solar farm will be built in three phases, with the first segment adjacent State Road 33, the second phase built further east and south of University Boulevard. The third phase would be on a smaller plot of land along County Road 33A.

Each phase will be built to provide slightly less than 75 megawatts of generation capacity, Cloud said, in an effort to avoid triggering the state's Power Plant Siting Act — the state's centralized process for permitting large power plants. It will have a total capacity around 225 megawatts when completely built out.

By comparison, Solar Energy Industry Associates lists noteworthy solar installations in Florida such as Manatee Solar Energy in Parrish, which was developed by Florida Power & Light produces about 114.7 megawatts. This is estimated to be enough to power nearly 14,000 homes. Williams's solar field near Florida Polytechnic would be nearly double that in generation capacity.

Under the city's conditions, Willams Co. will need to make sure all panels and related equipment are set back at least 100 feet from State Road 33 with a 6-foot-high view blockage fence adjacent to a natural vegetative buffer of trees, shrubs and other plants.

"This one is going to have a much better visual footprint because for the most part you are not going to know it's there," Cloud said.

Commissioner Stephanie Madden praised Williams Co. for bringing its staff to the table to work with the City of Lakeland and Florida Polytechnic, after several years of inactivity, to bring about the solar farm while preserving space for potential Innovation District.

Sara-Megan Walsh can be reached at swalsh@theledger.com or 863-802-75454. Follow on X @SaraWalshFl.

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