The City of Winter Haven Commission voted on Monday night to approve an up to $23.5M non-ad valorem revenue bond to fund public safety, infrastructure and quality of life projects over the next several years. See the list of what is included in the bond below. In addition to these projects, the approval also allows for monies to be put towards additional parking facilities such as a parking garage.
Southeast Pocket Park
Estimated cost: $500,000
Bond portion: $500,000
The Southeast Pocket park will be the first playground in southeast Winter Haven as the City of Winter Haven has very little land in this area of the City (versus unincorporated Polk). Its plan includes a dog park, playground, restroom building, and picnic shelters. The timing is estimated to be completed design and construction by Spring 2022.
Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center
Estimated cost: $9,700,000
Bond portion: $4,500,000
This project includes the renovation of existing Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center, building additional space for expanded gymnasium and branch library, new / relocated pool, new splash pad, and new playground with enhanced greenspace.
The WHRCC was originally constructed in the mid 1970’s and has a series of cosmetic and minor renovations since then. The current “re-purposing” project will expand the overall footprint of the facility and include the addition of branch library with technology lab, expanded indoor court space, new exercise facilities, and a complete renovation of all common spaces and classrooms. In addition, a new aquatic area will include a zero-entry pool and splash pad.
The estimated timeline includes completed design by October 2022 and completed construction by December 2023.
Lake Maude Park – Phase 2
Estimated cost: $1,800,000
Bond portion: $1,800,000
This project includes the construction of two baseball diamonds (shared space with multi-purpose fields) and completion of on-site parking improvements. The construction of the baseball fields will allow for the Winter Haven Wolverines to host their youth football and baseball programs at the same park, resulting in greater efficiency in the program delivery. The estimated timeline is completed design and
construction by October 2022.
Lake Conine Wetlands Recreation Improvements
Estimated cost: $1,900,000
Bond portion: $1,400,000
This project includes a playground, fishing pier, picnic facilities, and parking access. The development of the recreation amenities within the Lake Conine Wetland Restoration site will result in new recreational opportunities for residents of Northeast Winter Haven including residents of the unincorporated “Boggy Bottom” neighborhood. There are currently limited recreation and park facilities in this area, particularly in the classification of nature park and/or lakefront access. This recreation portion follows a large stormwater project that was completed on the site in partnership between the City of Winter Haven, the State and Polk County.
The new facilities will provide direct access to Lake Conine for fishing and non-motorize boat access (kayak/canoe). The park will also create new health opportunities via access to walking trails within the wetland treatment areas
The estimated timing of this project is to complete design and construction by December 2022.
Chain of Lakes Park – Phase 2
Estimated cost: $8,000,000
Bond portion: $4,000,000
This project is projected to include four lighted baseball fields, new multipurpose field / event lawn, activated lakeshore with pedestrian facilities and docks, interior pedestrian loop, completion of access road / parking facilities
The proposed renovations will result in more resilient ballfields with enhanced drainage and lighting; this will allow for more dependable and expanded use.
Activation of the shoreline will allow for access to the facility via boat / water craft as well as create new opportunities for facility guests to experience and learn about Winter Haven’s lake systems.
The estimated timing of this project is to complete design by June 2022 and to complete construction by Spring 2023.
Public Safety Station No . 4 – Northeast Winter Haven
Estimate cost: $4,000,000
Bond portion: $4,000,000
This new facility will be a joint use facility for Public Safety including Polk County EMS to be located on existing City-owned property. The construction of
a fourth fire station strategically located in Northeast Winter Haven (Florence Villa) will enhance response times for Fire Rescue units serving this geographic area. The new facility will reduce response times, ultimately providing a positive impact on medical and fire emergencies. Co-locating a Polk County EMS unit
at the facility will allow for greater efficiency in the delivery of services between the two responding agencies.
The estimated timeline of this project is to commence design by March 2022 and complete design and construction by March 2024.
Public Safety Station No. 5 –Northwest Winter Haven
Estimated cost: $4,000,000
Bond portion: $4,000,000
This project will be a joint use facility for Public Safety including Polk County EMS to be located on existing City-owned property at Lake Hartridge Park. This project will enhance response times for Fire Rescue units serving this geographic area. The new facility will reduce response times, ultimately providing a positive impact on medical and fire emergencies. Colocating a Polk County EMS unit at the facility will allow for greater efficiency in the delivery of services between the two responding agencies.
The estimated timing of this project will be to commence design by March 2023, complete design and construction by March 2025.
Lake Elbert Trail
Estimate cost: $2,350,000
Bond portion: $750,000
This project budget includes ROW acquistion, engineering/design, and construction. The FDOT portion of trail completed in 2020. The Lake Elbert Trail creates new opportunities for recreation (thus improving community health) while at the same time creating a safe pedestrian connection to Polk State College, Lake Elbert Elementary School, Brigham Elementary School, and Denison Middle School. The trail will also create linkages to Rotary Park, DiamondPlex Softball Complex, and Lake Maude Park, with additional opportunities to link into the existing Chain of Lakes Trail. There are no current sidewalks along the north and west shorelines of Lake Elbert, and the existing sidewalk on the east side of the lake is sub-standard and well below modern day design criteria.
The estimated timing of this project is to complete design by May 2022 and for construction to take 1 year (following Utility Improvements).