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2020 Annual Newsletter

2020 Annual Newsletter

The Haines City Economic Development Council, Inc. is excited to kick off 2020! We have been serving Haines City for over 15 years and will continue working with the City of Haines City and the Board of County Commissioners to grow our community for years to come. We are here to help in building relationships for the recruitment of corporations who create new jobs and contribute to the capital investment into our community. The Haines City Economic Development Council, Inc. looks forward to 2020 as the growth continues in the City of Haines City and in Northeast Polk County.

Enjoy our Newsletter, Click here to Read! 

Haines City Finally Friday Kicks Off January 31

Haines City Finally Friday Kicks Off January 31


The Haines City Finally Friday Community Festival will kick off January 31, 2020, with a wide array of artists, vendors, food trucks and music for the whole community to enjoy.

This monthly street festival will include and celebrate the arts and culture scene of Historic Downtown Haines City. Designed as an incubator for artists and small businesses, the festival will become a driving force of the downtown’s resurgence as a vibrant district, and most of all will be a celebration of all the things that make Haines City great. Produced by the City of Haines Community Redevelopment Agency and the Northeast Polk Chamber of Commerce, the Haines City Finally Friday Festival will feature a family-friendly, only-in-Haines City experience.

The theme for January is CULINARY COMMUNITY, and will host a food truck rally, Karaoke Contest with prizes, and fun for the family. Admission is free.  Our entertainment lineup is a fun Karaoke Competition, and you can email Julie Revell at for more information.

Haines City Finally Fridays takes place from 6:00-9:00pm at Railroad Park on 6th and Main in Historic Downtown Haines City.  It’s one of many things going on downtown in 2020. For more information on activities downtown and around town visit

Haines City Finally Friday: CULINARY COMMUNITY
January 31, 2020, 6:00-9:00pm
Interested Vendors Contact: 863-421-5572, Ext 5572

Duke Energy Florida customers’ electric rates will drop in 2020

Duke Energy Florida customers’ electric rates will drop in 2020

Duke Energy Florida customers’ electric rates will drop in 2020

  • Lower fuel costs will help reduce monthly residential bills by $4.69 per 1,000 kWh
  • Solar facilities, additional grid enhancements will provide cleaner, more reliable energy for customers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy Florida (DEF) customers will see lower bills in 2020.

The company plans to reduce Florida rates by more than 3% while adding more solar power and making grid improvements to enhance reliability, security and resilience in 2020 and beyond.

DEF has filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission that demonstrates how the company is delivering on its promise to provide a cleaner, more resilient energy future.

The company is offering more value for customers through reduced fuel costs and investments in solar and smart-thinking technology.

Rates for 2020 will reflect the new Lake Placid and Trenton Solar Power Plants, grid improvements, grid reliability investments, and DEF’s annual fuel, capacity, energy conservation and environmental compliance clause financials.

If approved, typical residential customers using 1,000 kWh will see a decrease of $4.69 cents in their monthly bill beginning January 2020.

Commercial and industrial customers will see a decrease between 3% and 9%, however, the specific bill impact will vary depending on several factors.

“We know how important affordable energy is to our customers’ daily lives,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We are proud to provide electricity at rates lower than the national average, while also making investments to increase the amount of energy we get from renewable sources, to enhance the security of our energy supply, and to bring new technologies to our Florida systems.”

Building A Smarter Energy Future®

Duke Energy Florida anticipates the Lake Placid Solar Power Plant in Highlands County, Fla. will be serving customers in December 2019. Once operational, the facility will be 45 megawatts (MWs) in size, which is enough to power more than 12,000 homes at peak production.

The Company also anticipates the Trenton Solar Power Plant in Gilchrist County, Fla. will begin serving customers in December 2019. Once operational, the facility will be 74.9 MWs, which is enough to power more than 23,000 homes at peak production. The Lake Placid and Trenton facilities are part of DEF’s plan to add 700 MWs of cost-effective solar in Florida through 2022.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center celebrates the ribbon cutting for Four Corners ER

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center celebrates the ribbon cutting for Four Corners ER

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center celebrates the ribbon cutting for Four Corners ER

DAVENPORT, FL (February 14, 2019) – Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for the Four Corners ER. Set to open the first week of March, Four Corners ER is a new free-standing emergency department offering around-the-clock care.

Located on US 192 and tucked between US 27 and FL-429, the physical address for the new location is 14730 Bali Blvd., Winter Garden, FL 34787. Four Corners ER, a department of Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, is located in the Four Corners area and will serve residents in Orange, Osceola, Polk and Lake counties, one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.

Four Corners ER is equipped to treat patients that need a higher level of care than what is offered at their primary care physician office or an urgent care center. It includes onsite radiology, including CT, x-ray and ultrasound, 10 exam rooms, board-certified emergency physicians and an on-site laboratory. The facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our board-certified physicians offer both adult and pediatric care. For our pediatric visitors and patients, a special wall feature in the waiting room is available for little ones to play while they wait. The wall is provided by LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. The wall has vivid colors, engaging pictures of children playing, and an interactive section to build on with LEGO blocks. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center is the official medical sponsor of LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ann Barnhart, CEO of Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, announced that when Four Corners ER opens, it will offer a 30-Minute ER Pledge to its patients. The pledge states that a medical professional (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) will work diligently to have patients initially seen within 30 minutes of noted arrival in the ER. “Every patients deserve timely, effective care,” said Barnhart, “which is important for good patient outcomes.”

As part of the opening celebrations, Four Corners ER is hosting a free Community Health Fair on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 10am-1pm and will be offering free health screenings and activities for children. As the Four Corners area continues to grow exponentially, its residents, visitors and businesses need quality healthcare options close by. Four Corners ER is proud to join the Four Corners community and begin seeing patients in the upcoming weeks. For more information or directions, visit
About Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center believes in providing safe, high quality integrated healthcare and the best experience for our patients and our community. As a licensed 193-bed acute care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission, an accredited Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology, and a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center puts quality health care front and center. For outpatient services, the hospital offers outpatient imaging, rehabilitation, laboratory services and an award-winning wound care center. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center is associated with two urgent care centers, an occupational health program, an ambulatory surgery center and an employed physician group to better serve its community. To learn more about inpatient or outpatient services, community education, or to find a physician, visit or call 866-997-DOCS. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center is owned in part by physicians.

Emergency Preparedness In School

Emergency Preparedness In School


Natural disasters and other emergencies can happen at any time, and when they happen at school, everyone should be prepared to handle them safely and effectively. Administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students can work together to promote and maintain school-wide safety and minimize the effects of emergencies and other dangerous situations. This guide covers different ways everyone in the school community can prepare for various natural disasters and other emergencies to stay safe.

Read the full guide here:

Polk State College expands services in Northeast Polk at Ridge Community High School

Polk State College expands services in Northeast Polk at Ridge Community High School

Polk State College is expanding its services in Northeast Polk County at Ridge Community High School, where the College will increase its afternoon, evening, and weekend courses for adults seeking Associate in Arts degrees.

Our community and greater Northeast Polk now has access to higher education right in our backyard! Starting on September 17, Polk State classes begin at Ridge Community High.

To read more and for more information, click here.