FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

  1. Where is City Hall?
    • City Hall is located at:
          620 E. Main Street
        Haines City, Florida 33844.
  2. What are the hours for City Hall?
    • City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, excluding holidays.
  3. How can I get a driver’s license or identification card?
    • You can get your Florida driver’s license and/or Florida identification cards from the Department of Motor Vehicles located at:2000 Deer Creek Commerce Lane
      Davenport, FL 33837

        Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
          They can be reached at 863-534-4700
  4. What is the number for the local auto tag office?
    • They can be reached at (863) 298-7578

City Clerk’s Office

  1. Public Record Requests
    • Requests for public records are submitted to the City Clerk.
    • The charge for single sided photocopies on letter sized paper is $.15 per page or $.20 per page for double sided copies.
    • Other photocopies are available at varying prices dependent upon size and format.
    • Audio records are available at a cost dependent upon the format of the audio copy.
  2. Where can I get a birth or death certificate?
    • Birth and death certificates and be obtained from the Polk County Health Department located at:
          2020 E Georgia St
          Bartow, FL 33830.
          They can be reached at(863) 519-7916.
        Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  3. How can I get in contact with children and family services?
    • The Department of Children and Family Services is located at:
      1055 US Highway 17 North

      Bartow  Florida  33830

      They can be reached at: 863-578-1704

  4. Where can I get a copy of a deed?
    • Deeds are filed with the Polk County Clerk of Court. They can be reached at (863) 534-4000
  5. Where can I get a copy of a will?
    • Wills are recorded with the Clerk of Circuit Court Probate Office. They can be reached at (863) 534-4478.
  6. What is the number for the Better Business Bureau?
    • The Better Business Bureau is located at:
          1600 S. Grant Street
          Longwood, FL 3275.
        They can be reached at 1-800-275-6614.
  7. Where can I get a marriage license?
    • Marriage licences can be obtained at the Polk County Courthouse located at:
          3425 Lake Alfred Rd
          Winter Haven, FL 33881.
        They can be reached at (863) 401-2400.
  8. What is the phone number and office location for unemployment?

Fire Department

  1. How do I obtain a copy of a fire report?
    • An official fire report can be obtained at:
          Haines City Fire Department
          138 North 11th street
        Haines City, FL, 33844
  2. How many Fire Stations are in the City of Haines City?
    • There is one firehouse strategically located at:
          138 north 11th street
        Haines City, FL 33844.
    • We also have a joint station that is shared with Polk county Fire Rescue at:
          138 Cottonwood Drive
        Davenport, FL, 33837.
  3. How many fire apparatus does HCFD have?
    • There are two fire engines
    • one 75ft ladder truck
    • one brush truck
    • one rescue truck
    • a marine unit
    • 5 support vehicles
  4. How many Firefighters are employed at HCFD?
    • A total of 26 firefighters currently in the Department
    • There will be at least 8 Firefighters who work 24 hours a day
    • There is also three staff positions which include a Training Captain, Fire Marshall, and a Fire Inspector.
  5. Are there always Firefighters at the fire station?
    • No, The fire company may receive an alert to report to the scene of an emergency incident.
  6. What kind of work schedule does a Firefighter have?
    • A Haines City Firefighter works 56 hours per week. This is accomplished by working 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty.
  7. What is a typical workday for a Firefighter?
    • The Commanding Officer assigns fire station duties to the crew for that day. Duties include vehicle inspections, public education events, station cleaning, monitoring the dispatch radio, flag mounting, attendance reporting, and physical fitness. Firefighters also participate in community events and in-service training activities. The in-service training involves classroom instruction and hands-on training at the fire station and/or the Department Training Academy. Emergency incidents may interrupt assigned duties, such as emergency and non-emergency incidents, which includes but are not limited to residential fires, commercial fires, vehicle fires, emergency medical incidents, and false alarms. Firefighters are permitted to rest and sleep during their 24-hour tour of duty after 5:00pm.
  8. How many different positions exist at the Fire Department?
    • The Haines City Fire Department has seven positions within the department.
      1. Firefighter / EMT
      2. Driver / Engineer
      3. Lieutenant
      4. Captain
      5. Chief
      6. Fire Inspector
      7. Fire Marshall
  9. What does an Engine company do on a fire scene?
    • The Engine Company is charged with extinguishment. Additional engine companies are charged with supplying water to the first engine and on standby to serve as backup for the first crew.
  10. What does a Ladder company do on a fire scene?
    • The Ladder Company will gain access, “forcible entry” and “ventilate” (open windows, doors, and chop a hole in the roof) the process of removing heat and smoke. The Ladder Company is also responsible for disconnecting utilities, placing ladders in an effort to provide an alternative exit for trapped civilians or for Firefighters to ascend to chop a hole in the roof.
  11. What does a Rescue company do on a fire scene?
    • The Rescue Company responsibilities include but are not limited to: search and rescue operations, auto extrication, forcible entry, laddering for additional means of egress, venting windows, and stretching hose line.
  12. Why do Firefighters break windows and chop holes in the roof at a fire?
    • Firefighters ventilate (chop holes in a roof and break windows) to remove the blazing heat, smoke, and toxic gases.
  13. Why do Firefighters chop holes in walls?
    • The process of chopping holes in walls is necessary to expose hidden fires inside the walls.
  14. What is your Department’s average response time to an emergency?
    • Our average response time is about 4 to 5 minutes.
  15. How many people die in residential fires each year in the U.S?
    • More than 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 17,500 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It’s not a question of luck. It’s a matter of planning ahead.
  16. Every Home Should Have at Least One Working Smoke Alarm
    • Buy a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount store. It’s inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery every 6 months. Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  17. What does it mean when my smoke alarm chirps?
    • The smoke alarm will chirp when it’s time to replace the battery. We encourage residents to change the smoke alarm battery when they change their clocks for Daylight Saving time in the spring and fall each year.
  18. What do I do when I see an emergency vehicle approaching when I am driving?
    • Motorists should pull their vehicles safely to the right when an emergency vehicle is approaching. It is not recommended to stop in the middle of the road or proceed through an intersection against the signals. Remember to safely pull to the right.
  19. Why do I see fire trucks at the grocery store or at other stores?
    • Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, which require grocery shopping for food to cook, and shopping at other stores for other items needed to stock the firehouse.
  20. Why do the fire trucks turn on their lights to back into the station?
    • Haines City fire stations are not equipped for the fire apparatus to pull through the bays. Therefore, it requires the fire apparatus to back into the fire station. In an effort to back the fire apparatus into the bay the driver of the fire apparatus turn on the emergency lights (red lights) to warn all vehicles to stop.
  21. Why does the fire engine respond to auto accidents?
    • In many instances auto accidents require Firefighters to remove injured persons who are trapped. Firefighters also assess the scene for hazards, such as fuel leaks, disabled airbags, and auto batteries that may need disconnecting.
  22. Is it possible to tour a fire station?
    • To request a fire station visit, please call (863)421-3611.
  23. Does the Haines City Fire Department refill fire extinguishers?
    • Unfortunately, the Haines City Fire Department does not refill fire extinguishers. It is recommended that you contact a commercial fire extinguisher company for recharging. A listing of commercial fire extinguisher companies can be found in the local phone directory under fire extinguishers/equipment. Many household fire extinguishers cannot be recharged and must be discarded after use. An annual inspection of the expiration date is encouraged to ensure that the manufacturer date has not expired.
  24. When should I call 9-1-1?
    • The Haines City Fire Department recommends dialing 9-1-1 for injury or life-threatening emergency incidents.
  25. When reporting a fire, what do I tell the dispatcher?
    • To report a fire, remain calm and provide the dispatcher with the following:
      1. Where the fire is located.
      2. What is on fire.
      3. Who is in danger or trapped.
      4. How the fire began.
      5. Give brief details about the fire. (Example: odor, smoke, or flames)
  26. When reporting a MEDICAL emergency, what do I tell the dispatcher?
    • To report a Medical emergency, remain calm and provide the dispatcher with the following.
      1. The location of the sick or injured person?
      2. What the symptoms are of the injured or ill person.
      3. Does the person have a known history of illnesses?
      4. Does the person take medication?
  27. When reporting a VEHICLE accident, what do I tell the dispatcher?
      1. To report a vehicle accident, remain calm and provide the dispatcher with the following:
      2. The location of the accident scene
      3. The number of injuries at the accident scene
      4. How many vehicles are involved in the accident
      5. Report a brief description of the vehicles
      6. Report harmful hazards (gasoline leaks, chemical spills, and wires down)
      7. Who witnessed the accident

      Witnesses should remain on the scene until the EMS unit and Law Enforcement arrives.

Human Resources

  1. How do I submit an application?
    • Application for employment must be made on the City’s official application form. Resumes by themselves do not satisfy this requirement. Please provide as   much detail about your work history as possible and attach additional sheets as necessary.  Applications are only accepted for job vacancies that are posted.
    • Applications may be completed via an electronic form and emailed to jobs@oldsite.hainescity.com.
    • Applications are available from:
          City Hall
          620 E. Main Street
          Haines City, FL  33844
        between the hours of 8:30 to 5:00.
    • Applications may be mailed to:
          City of Haines City
          Attn: Human Resources
          620 E. Main Street
        Haines City, FL 33844

    *If submitting an application by mail, your application must be postmarked by the posting deadline.

  2. I’d like to apply for several positions. Do I have to submit multiple applications?
    • Yes, a separate application form must be completed for each position.
  3. What is the status of my application?
    • If your qualifications and experience meet the position requirements, Human Resources will identify you as a potential candidate and forward your application to the hiring manager.  The timeframe varies and depends on the position and number of applicants.  If selected for an interview, you would typically be contacted 2 to 3 weeks after the closing date of the position.
  4. Would having a criminal record affect one’s chance of getting a job?
    • Applicants with a criminal record are evaluated on a case by case basis.   Be honest and forthright concerning your background on the application form and during the interview.    A conviction will not necessarily bar you from employment, but will be weighed with respect to time, circumstances, seriousness, and the position for which you have applied.
  5. How do I reach a live person?
    • You can contact Human Resources via email at jobs@hainescity.com or by calling (863) 421-9926.

Public Library

  1. Where is the library?
    • The library is located at 111 N. 6th St, Haines City, Florida 33844.
  2. How do I get a library card?
    • Bring proof of your current street address in Polk County and fill out an application form. There is no charge for a library card as long as you live in Polk County.

Utility Services (Water, Wastewater, Garbage and Recycling)

General

  1. How do I turn on/off or transfer Utility Services (Water, Wastewater, Garbage, Recycling)?
      • Utility Services can be turned on/off or transferred by visiting City Hall
      • Bring a valid photo ID and a copy of closing statement or lease agreement showing your current address. City Hall is located at:
            620 E. Main Street
          Haines City, Florida 33844.

    Inside the City Limits

        • Residential Accounts
            Residential accounts inside the City limits require a deposit of $140.00 plus a $20.00 one time activation fee, for a total deposit of $160.00.
        • Commercial Accounts
            Commercial accounts inside the City limits require a $210.00 deposit plus a $20.00 one time activation fee, for a total deposit of $230.00.

    Outside the City Limits

      • Residential Accounts
          Residential accounts outside the City limits require a deposit of $175.00 plus a $20.00 one time activation fee, for a total deposit of $195.00.
      • Commercial Accounts
          Commercial accounts outside the City limits require a $262.50 deposit with a $20.00 one time activation fee, for a total deposit of $282.50.
  2. When is the cut-off date?
    • Cut-off dates change monthly. The due date is printed on your utility bill each month. You may contact Utility Billing at (863) 421-3600 for more information.
  3. When are the utility bills mailed?
    • On or before the 15th of each month for Cycle 1 and on or before the 30th of each month for Cycle 2
  4. When are utility bills due?
    • Normally, bills are due the 5th for Cycle 1 and the 20th for Cycle 2.
  5. How do I pay my utility bill?
    • Payments may be mailed, pay in person, placed in the night drop box behind City Hall, pay online, or automatic payment from your bank account.
  6. What is the mailing address for utility payments?
    • Please send all utility payments to:
      City of Haines City
      620 E. Main Street
      Haines City, Florida 33845
  7. What forms of payment does the city of Haines City accept?
    • Cash, Check, Money Order, and Debit/Credit Cards with MasterCard/Visa logo (online only).
  8. If a Street light is out, who should I call?
    • You can call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777, and report the outage please give as much information as possible (the number on the pole, and/or the address closest to the pole).
    • Or you can call, or go online and report it to Duke Energy at 1-800-700-8744 or http://www.duke-energy.com/
  9. What if a street light or power line pole is down? (this applies to downed wires as well)
    • If it is obstructing traffic, or it is a power line pole, or a power line, call the Police Department at (863) 421-3636 to ensure the safety of the situation.
    • You can call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777, please give as much information as possible (number on the pole and/or the address closest to the pole). If this is a power line or power line pole DO NOT go near it, just call the Police Department or Public Works Department.
    • If it is a street light pole and it is not an emergency, please call Duke Energy at 1-800-700-8744, or notify the Public Works Department (863) 421-3777.

Water

  1. When should I water my lawn?

Garbage (solid waste) and Recycling

  1. What should I do with my yard waste?
    • Place it 5 feet from the curb on your property, near where you place your household garbage for pick-up. Only yard waste placed on property with an active water account will be picked up. Do not place yard waste or garbage on vacant lots or on property with an active account, as it will not be picked up. Piles of should be less than 5 cubic yards, with branches less than 5 feet long and 6 inches in diameter. Bag or bundle leaves and other loose waste. Solid Waste Services will pickup yard waste each Wednesday.
  2. How do I get old appliances picked up?
    • Call Florida Refuse Services at (863) 294-8778 and request them to schedule a pickup time. There is no charge for this service.
  3. How many times a week will my household garbage be collected?
    • Household garbage and recyclables are collected once each week. Call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 for the pickup schedule for your area.
  4. What do I do with my old tires?
    • Tires without the rim can be placed five (5) feet from the curb where you normally place your garbage can. Residents are allowed four (4) tires each year for disposal. Tire pickup is the third Saturday of each month citywide.
  5. what should I do if my garbage was not picked up on my regularly scheduled day?
    • Place all garbage containers for residential service at the curb no earlier than 12 hours prior to 6:00 am on the scheduled day of collection. Should your garbage container be missed, call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777.
  6. Where should I put my garbage can/recycle bin when it is not my scheduled day?
    • The containers should be placed on the side, or at the back of the house, or inside of the garage during non-pickup days. Moving the container away from the curb does not exclude you from receiving a penalty. The container cannot be anywhere between the house and the road.
  7. What will happen if I leave my garbage can out past my scheduled pickup day?
    • You will receive a green warning ticket on your first offense. If it is your second offense, then you will receive an orange ticket on your door and a $25 fine will be posted on your next utility bill. You will continue to receive a $25 fine for each day the container is left in front of the house.
  8. What if I was cleaning out my garage and I put my container outside my garage for a brief moment and then went inside my house to get something, but I was going to be right back?
    • You will still receive a violation. If the container is anywhere between the house and the road on a day that is not your scheduled pickup day, you will receive a violation. Take the extra minute to move the container to the side of the house or to push it back into the garage.
  9. What if a holiday falls on my scheduled pickup day?
    • There are announcements posted in your utility bill or on our website, www.hainescity.com, which posts the holiday schedules. The general rule is that pickup days will move to the following day. For example, if your pickup day is on Monday and the holiday falls on a Monday, then your garbage will be picked up on Tuesday. Then normal Tuesday pickups will occur on Wednesday, normal Wednesday pickups will occur on Thursday, normal Thursday pickups will occur on Friday, and normal Friday pickups will occur on Saturday.
  10. I just moved into my new house and I need a garbage can and a recycle bin, how do I get one?
    • If you just moved into a house that was in the builder’s name, then you can call City Hall (863) 421-3600 to open an account and pay the deposit fee. After your account is open then you can call Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to get a new garbage can and/or recycle bin.
    • If this is a house that had a previous owner, then call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to purchase a new garbage container.
    • All recycle bins are free of charge.
  11. I need an additional garbage can, how much does it cost?
    • An additional garbage can is $7.00 added on to your utility bill for the next six months after you purchase it, resulting in a total of $42.00 for each additional garbage can.
  12. I have hazardous waste that I need to get rid of, how do I do that?
    •  Hazardous waste is picked up once a year, usually in March. However, you can take it to the North Central Landfill anytime during their normal hours of operation.
    • North Central Landfill
      • 7215 East Hwy 540 (between Lakeland and Winter Haven)
      • Hours of Operation: 7 am-5 pm Monday-Friday;  7:30 am – 4:00 pm Saturday; and closed Sundays and major holidays.
      • Waste that is accepted at the landfill include: garbage, construction and demolition debris, yard trash, recyclables, household hazardous wastes, appliances, tires (max 10) and electronics (TVs and computers)
  13. I have a bunch of items that I need to get rid of but they will not fit into my garbage can, how do I get rid of them?
    • You have a few choices:
      Consider giving it to a shelter or a thrift store.
      Request Republic Service to pick it up on your normal scheduled pickup day.
      Call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to schedule a pickup
      Take it to the Landfill (see above for times and accepted items).
  14. I am remodeling my home, how do I get rid of construction debris?
    • You have a few choices:
      • Call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to schedule a pickup (there will be a charge).
        Someone from Republic Services will drive by your house and give you a quote of how much it will cost, then the charge will be added to your utility bill. Republic Services will not pick it up unless you agree to the amount.
      • Take the debri to the North Central Landfill (see above for times and accepted items).
      • Contact a company that offers “roll-off” dumpsters (Lowes, Home Depot, Republic Services, etc).
  15. I have old paint cans, how do I get rid of those?
    • If the paint is water based, the can is mostly empty and the paint is completely dried out, then Republic Services will pick them up.
    • If it is oil based paint, then you can dispose of it during Clean Up Day that includes hazardous waste or take them to the North Central Landfill (see above for times and accepted items).
  16. What if my garbage can is stolen?
    • If your garbage can is stolen, you will need to purchase a new one.
    • Call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to order a new can.
  17. When are the City’s Clean Up Days?
    • The City of Haines City has two (2) Clean Up Days per year, in spring and fall. This information is sent out in advance either on your utility bill or on the city’s website.
  18. I have a dumpster or commercial container at my business and I need to change the service, how do I do that?
    • Call the Public Works Department at (863) 421-3777 to change the service.