Water-Related News

Lakeland’s ‘dirty problem’ becomes focus of $22.7M American Rescue Plan funds

LAKELAND — Lakeland officials got down and dirty Tuesday morning as they decided how to divvy up the millions the city will receive in federal funds.

City commissioners agreed to set aside $17.8 million of the $22.7 million, or nearly 80% of what Lakeland is expecting to receive through the American Rescue Plan Act, to tackle an overdue infrastructure project.

"We found out we have a $20 million problem in sewage and wastewater," Mayor Bill Mutz said Tuesday morning. "Yes, it's a dirty problem."

Bill Anderson, the city's director of water utilities, said a major gravity-fed sewer line that serves a portion of southwest Lakeland is in dire need of replacement. It's roughly 2.7 miles of pipe that starts west of Lake Hunter, near Westside Park, moves southeast to a corner of the lake, then follows a portion of Harden Boulevard before traveling around Beacon Hill.