FAQs

Building Permits

Can I pull a permit to do owner builder work for mechanical, electrical, or plumbing?

No. A licensed contractor must pull permits for all mechanical, electrical and plumbing work.

Business Tax Receipts

I’m moving my business into an older building. Is there anything I should be aware of?

First thing, check with the Building and Zoning Department to make sure the type of business you have is allowed in the zoning district where the building is located. If it’s allowed then you would have to contact the City Clerk’s office to inform them you are moving your business to another location. Inspections of the new location will need to be done by the Building Official and Fire Inspector as well.

City Clerk

When are City Commission Meetings held?

Regular City Commission meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at City Hall 120 East Pomelo Street. Meetings that fall on Holidays are subject to change and will be publically noticed.

When is the public able to comment during Commission Meetings?

Other than a public hearing, the City of Lake Alfred provided two times citizen comments are recognized. Commission meetings are conducted based on the agenda created by the City Clerk’s office. The agenda is an outline of subjects to be considered at the meeting, and it is also used to promote orderly procedures. The agenda is conducted in the following order.

1. Invocation

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

3. Roll Call

4. City Manager Announcements

5. City Attorney Announcements

6. Recognition of Citizens – Items not on the agenda

7. Presentations

8. Proclamations

9. Approval of minutes / Consent Agenda Items

10. Regular Agenda

11. Recognition of Citizens – Please limit comments to five minutes

12. Commissioners Questions and Comments

13. Adjournment

When are municipal elections held?

The Municipal Election is held on the first Tuesday in April. Any person interested in eligibility as a candidate for the office of City Commission must be an elector of the City who has resided within the City’s municipal limits for not less than one full calendar year proceeding for the first day of qualifying. The terms of office are for four (4) years. Any interested parties should contact the City Clerk.

How do I apply for an Advisory Board or Committee seat?

Board vacancies can be located by activating the Boards and Committee tab located on the home page of the Web site. All interested residents are encouraged to submit an application to the care of the City Clerk’s Office. APPLICATION for BOARD APPOINTMENT is available online or at the Clerk’s office. Please contact Linda Bourgeois at (863) 291-5747 or email LBourgeois@mylakealfred.com.

Where do I register to vote?

You can pick up a voter registration form at the City Clerk’s Department located in City Administration or by mail from the Supervisor of Elections office by calling (863) 534-5888. If you are registered already but would like to change your current information, notify the Elections office or visit their Web site at www.polkelections.com.

Where do I go to vote?

There is one polling location in the City of Lake Alfred which will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

City Hall
120 East Pomelo Street
Lake Alfred, FL. 33850

The City of Lake Alfred’s Precinct Number is 312. Please check your Voter Identification card for verification. If you are unable to locate your voter identification card, please contact the Supervisor of Elections at (863) 534-5888 or visit their Web site at www.polkelections.com.

How can I contact the Clerk of Courts?

Contact Clerk of Courts Government Center at (863) 401-2400.

How can I access the Florida Statutes?

Contact the Legislative Information Division. The toll-free number for Florida residents is 1-800-342-1827 or visit their Web site at www.leg.state.fl.us

How can I contact the Florida Commission on Ethics?

Contact the Florida Commission on Ethics at (850) 488-7864 or visit their Web site at www.ethics.state.fl.us.

I’m moving my business into an older building. Is there anything I should be aware of?

First thing, check with the Building and Zoning Department to make sure the type of business you have is allowed in the zoning district where the building is located. If it’s allowed then you would have to contact the City Clerk’s office to inform them you are moving your business to another location. Inspections of the new location will need to be done by the Building Official and Fire Inspector as well.

Fire Department

I received a bill for ambulance services. Why was I sent this and who do I call for billing questions?

The Lake Alfred Fire Department does not transport patients to a medical facility. If you received a bill for an emergency transport to a hospital it was most likely sent from Polk County Fire Rescue. PCFR is responsible for emergency transport throughout the county. Their number is 863-519-7350.

Why do I see fire units at the store?

The firefighters of the Lake Alfred Fire Department work a schedule of 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty. In doing so everybody has different tastes and dietary need, and sometimes they just plain run out of supplies. The firefighters are encouraged to go to the store when out on other duties, such as returning from a call or while getting fuel at the city barn.

Where can I get a burn permit and what are the burning regulations?

The Florida Forest Service office in Lakeland is responsible for issuing burn authorizations for this area; you can contact them at 863-648-3160. The outdoor burning regulations may be found here: Outdoor burning regulations

Why is it that sometimes fire units have their lights/sirens on, then suddenly turn them off and drive normally?

If the dispatcher receives additional information regarding the call indicating that the fire department is not needed, the fire units are cancelled and they return to the fire station.

I have received firefighter training in another state. Can I use that training in Florida?

Firefighter certifications are administered by the Bureau of Fire Standards, Florida State Fire College in Ocala, Florida. For specific details please call 352-369-2800.

Can I plant shrubbery around a fire hydrant so that it is not so visible?

No. Only ground cover is allowed to grow near a fire hydrant. All other plants and obstructions must be at least 7’6” from the front and sides of a fire hydrant and at least 4’ from the rear of a fire hydrant. All fire hydrants must have direct visibility and accessibility from the street.

If the curb by a fire hydrant is not painted yellow, can I park in front of the fire hydrant?

No. Automobiles must park a minimum of 15 feet from a fire hydrant, regardless of curb color.

Who do I call if someone is parked in front of a fire hydrant?

You need to contact the Police Department at 291-5200. Parking in front of a fire hydrant is a violation of FSS 316.1945.

If I see a fire hydrant leaking or without caps on it, who should I report it to?

You need to contact Public Works at 298-5458. They are responsible for fire hydrant maintenance.

Will fire hydrant maintenance discolor my water?

Water is flowing during fire hydrant maintenance so the possibility of water discoloration is slight but possible.

is there anything I should be doing to help with fire hydrant maintenance?

The Florida Fire Code requires a 7’6” clearance in front of and to the sides of a fire hydrant and a 4’ clearance to the rear of a fire hydrant. If you do not have the proper clearance, you should cut back any plants over-growing the fire hydrant or remove any post, fence, storage or trash that would obstruct or prevent the immediate use of the fire hydrant.

Fire Hydrants

Can I plant shrubbery around a fire hydrant so that it is not so visible?

No. Only ground cover is allowed to grow near a fire hydrant. All other plants and obstructions must be at least 7’6” from the front and sides of a fire hydrant and at least 4’ from the rear of a fire hydrant. All fire hydrants must have direct visibility and accessibility from the street.

If the curb by a fire hydrant is not painted yellow, can I park in front of the fire hydrant?

No. Automobiles must park a minimum of 15 feet from a fire hydrant, regardless of curb color.

Who do I call if someone is parked in front of a fire hydrant?

You need to contact the Police Department at 291-5200. Parking in front of a fire hydrant is a violation of FSS 316.1945.

If I see a fire hydrant leaking or without caps on it, who should I report it to?

You need to contact Public Works at 298-5458. They are responsible for fire hydrant maintenance.

Will fire hydrant maintenance discolor my water?

Water is flowing during fire hydrant maintenance so the possibility of water discoloration is slight but possible.

is there anything I should be doing to help with fire hydrant maintenance?

The Florida Fire Code requires a 7’6” clearance in front of and to the sides of a fire hydrant and a 4’ clearance to the rear of a fire hydrant. If you do not have the proper clearance, you should cut back any plants over-growing the fire hydrant or remove any post, fence, storage or trash that would obstruct or prevent the immediate use of the fire hydrant.

Garbage Cans

Who gets city garbage and recycling receptacles and how do I get them?

All city residents living within the city’s service area are furnished a garbage receptacle by the City. If there’s not a garbage receptacle on the property you can contact the Public Works Department at (863) 291-5275.

All commercial areas within the city limits are furnished a dumpster by the City.

All recycling receptacles are furnished by the Florida Refuse Service for residential uses only. You may contact Florida Refuse Services (Republic) at (863) 669-4855.  Commercial uses must contact an independent contractor.

Hazardous Waste

Where can I dispose of hazardous waste such as old paint or batteries?

No hazardous waste may be collected curbside. A few examples are used motor oil, rechargeable or auto batteries, propane tanks, oil based paint, and pesticides.

Contact the Public Works Department at (863) 291-5275 for disposal of hazardous materials.

Police Department

Where can I pay a traffic ticket?

Traffic tickets can be paid at the Polk County Clerk’s Office located at 3425 Lake Alfred Road, Gil Jones Plaza, Winter Haven, Florida 33881; (863)401-2400.

How do I obtain a copy of my police report?

Reports can be obtained in person at the police department normally from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Request to pick up reports can be made by phone or email to jmcdermott@mylakealfred.com.

Where can I have my fingerprints taken?

The Lake Alfred Police Department can process fingerprints 24/7, seven days a week as long as there is an officer available. There is a $5.00 fee and you MUST have correct change and picture identification.

Where do I obtain a restraining order?

Injunctions for protection/restraining orders can be processed at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Florida.

What can be done about an abandoned vehicle on private property?

Private property owner may call a wrecker company of their choice to have vehicles removed. The police department will assist in finding out the owners of the abandoned vehicle.

I have received a citation for an equipment violation; what do I do after my vehicle has been repaired?

You may go to any police department in Polk County and have a police officer or deputy confirm that the violation has been corrected. There is a $4.00 fee for most departments and then you will need to pay the reduced fine at the Polk County Clerk’s Office.

How do I file a complaint for service?

You may file a complaint for service in different ways. If you have a general non-emergency complaint you may call 863-291-5200. All officers that are working can take a complaint in person. If it is an emergency, call 911.

What do I do when the police stop me?

The best practice is to keep your hands on the steering wheel, wait for the officer to approach you with instructions, and he/she will give you the reason you have been stopped.

Stormwater Maintenance

What is stormwater and where does it go?

Stormwater is rainwater that washes through our property and streets, taking with it any debris that may be in its path. This mixture of rain, debris, oil and waste is known as “runoff”. In the past municipalities, as well as other public and private agencies, worked to get stormwater off the roads as quickly as possible to avoid flooding. Today these same agencies are working to not only reduce and often eliminate flooding, but to prevent pollution by the elements picked up by runoff.

When you pass a storm inlet, do you know where the water goes? Do you think it is channeled to a treatment plant the way sewage is? Think again! Up north, there may still be some existing combined sewer systems, where both sewage and stormwater are channeled to the local sewage treatment plant. Here in Florida, we do not have combined systems. In fact, in most areas of the Country inflow and infiltration (I/I) studies are done to find ground water and rainwater leaks in sanitary sewer systems and repair any damage. Sewage treatment costs money, and treating large amounts of added stormwater would be very expensive.

The next time you pass an inlet, remember that it most likely discharges into a body of water that may be near where you live, swim or fish! Do not add to the pollution problem by pouring anything down the storm drain, and remember that the drain is for stormwater only!

 

What is NPDES?

How It Began

Section 402(p) of the 1987 Federal Clean Water Act required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit program. This program requires local governments to obtain permits for their existing stormwater drainage systems, and for stormwater from certain industrial activities. This includes all construction projects that will disturb one or more acres of land, government owned landfills, power plants, airports, vehicle maintenance facilities and wastewater treatment plants.

Link to NPDES Permit

How Does This Effects the City of Lake Alfred

The NPDES regulations are directed at local governments, which are liable, for the pollutants discharged from their stormwater systems into the waters of the United States. The City of Lake Alfred is one co-permittee in Polk County responsible for developing a long term, comprehensive stormwater program to reduce the pollutant loading from their systems caused by non-point sources. Non-point sources are polluting sources other than direct discharges from factories and industries. Automotive oil and grease, herbicides and pesticides used in lawn maintenance, and runoff from City streets are a few examples of non-point sources of pollution.

The City has already developed an inventory of its stormwater management system. Currently infrastructure deficiencies are being identified and appropriate repairs completed.

 

What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?

The state Stormwater Rule, Chapter 17-25 Florida Administrative Code, was implemented by the Department of Environmental Regulation in 1982. The rule requires the use of BMPs to treat the first flush of stormwater to remove 80% of the annual average pollutant load. A good example of a BMP is the construction of swales.

What is construction within a MS4?

A MS4 means a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System, and relates to any stormwater conveyance system that discharges into State or Federal waters. Our NPDES permit requires that if small construction activities of one to five acres, and development or redevelopment of five or more acres within a MS4, then certain steps are taken to ensure that the construction does not pollute our waters. The City has its own requirements written in the Land Development Regulations.

Utility Application

Where can I find an application to start utility service?

You can find an application for utilities on the Finance page or by clicking here.

Watering Restrictions

What days and times can I water my lawn?

A “Phase I” declaration means that conditions are below normal and warrant alerting the general public and ordering water utilities and other water users to review and implement procedures as a means of preparing for possible action.

The District’s Phase I water shortage restrictions went into effect on December 1, 2012 and is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.

Lawn Watering Days and Times

  •  Lawn watering is limited to twice per week.
  •  Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a   different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
    • Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 am or after 4 pm.
    • Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 am or after 4 pm.
    • Locations without a discernable address, such as right-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 am or after 4 pm.

 Irrigation Systems

  • Residents are asked to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly. This means testing and repairing broken pipes and leaks, and damaged or tilted sprinkler heads.
  • Residents should also check their irrigation timer to ensure the setting is correct and the rain sensor is working properly in accordance with state law.

 New Lawns and Plants

  • New lawns and plants have a 30-30 establishment period, which allows any-day watering during the first 30 days during the allowable hours.
  • During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week:
    • Even numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday
    • Odd numbered addresses may water on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
    • Locations without a discernable address may water on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

More information about Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Conservation Measures, including links to local government websites, is online at www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/swfwmd.php

Zoning Information

What is my zoning and how does it affect my business?

Zoning is the means by which local governments regulate the type of uses that are conducted on land within its jurisdiction. For example, businesses are not allowed to operate on property zoned for residential uses. Similar, certain types of business may only be permitted on properties zoned specifically for those purposes. The City of Lake Alfred has several commercial and industrial zoning districts which are quite specific as to the type and intensity of businesses allowed.

To find out the zoning classification of your prospective location, call or visit the Building and Zoning Department in our Community Development Department in City Hall. The Building Official or Permit Technician can inform you of applicable restrictions on the uses, if any. It’s important to ensure the location you’ve selected for your business is properly zoned for the use. To avoid unnecessary hassles and expenses, contact the Community Development Department at (863) 291-5748 before committing to a location.