Frequently Asked Questions
“Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.”
- Who do I call if I have a trash complaint? Please contact the trash hauler at 863.967.5801
How do I report a code violation?
You may contact the Code Enforcement office at (863) 285-1119, ext. 4.
Do I have to leave my name and number when I report a violation?
No, all complaints are taken anonymously unless the complainant wishes to leave their number and request that they be contacted regarding the violation.
What should I do if I receive a Notice of Violation Letter?
Correct the violation or contact the Code Enforcement Officer if you need to request additional time to attain compliance. The officer's name and phone number are located on the bottom of the notice.
What is an inoperable/unlicensed vehicle?
Any vehicle that can not be legally driven on the street and/or does not have a current tag. Also, Ordinance 15-21 states that abandoned property means wrecked, derelict or deserted property with or without value and such may include but not be limited to, wrecked, inoperative, or partially dismantled motor vehicles, trailers, boats, machinery, refrigerators, washing machines, plumbing fixtures, furniture and any other similar articles.
What is overgrowth?
Property is considered overgrown when grass and/or weeds reach a minimum of twelve inches high.
- Who is responsible for right-of-way maintenance?
The City of Fort Meade Parks Department has been directed to mow grassed right-of-ways located in front of vacant lots and city-owned properties only.
The maintenance of the sidewalks and /or curbing, roads & storm-water ditch-lines are a Streets Department matter.
Trees and limbs hanging into the right-of-way that may interfere with electric utility services is the responsibility of the Electric Utility Department.
- How do I dispose of tires?
The City will be accepting tires for disposal at a cost to citizens as noted below.
- Tires without rims up to 17 inches will be charged at $3.00 each.
- Tires without rims 18 inches and up and semi and trailer tires will be charged at $6.00 each.
- Larger tires such as tractor and equipment tires without rims will be charged at $15.00 each.
- Tires with rims will be charged at an additional $3.00 per tire.
- Payment for tires prior to disposal must be paid in advance at the Operations Center at 521 NW 4th Street. Telephone number 863-285-1119, Ext. 1.
- Then the citizen will directed to the disposal area.
- This cost reflects the amount charged to the City for disposal of tires.
- How much does it cost to get a library card?
Library cards are free to all Polk County and Hardee County residents.
- Does it cost anything to use your computers?
All that is required to use the computers is a signed Internet Agreement. Children 17 yrs and under have to have parental signature. Children under 12 have to have a parent seated at the computer with them.
- How do you get a library card?
Fill out an application with your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, telephone, email address and give a reference of someone who can verify you live at your address. We also make a copy of your ID card or Drivers License. Children 17 years of age must have a parent or guardian fill out a card and sign for them.
- What are curb inlets?
Curb inlets are man made structures that allow the stormwater in the streets to be discharged.
- What does n.p.d.e.s. stand for?
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.
- How many signs are in town?
- Why does the City not maintain South Orange Ave.?
It is a County road and is therefore maintained by the County.
- What can I do about barking dogs?
- First try talking with the neighbor and let them know you are having a problem with their dog barking. Sometimes this will solve the problem. If it doesn’t then follow the below listed instructions.
- Contact Polk County Animal Control 863-499-2600 and report the dog as a nuisance. According to the Polk County Animal Control Ordinance, a nuisance is defined as: Any owner or custodian of any dog or cat that, 1. habitually barks, whines, howls, neows, cries, screams or causes other objectionable noises resulting in an unreasonable annoyance to neighboring residents: or 2. disturbs the peace by habitually or repeatedly destroying or soiling public or private property, or causing injury or threatening to cause injury to any person or domestic animal on property other than that of the owner or custodian, or other similar conduct or behavior.
No owner of a property zoned commercial kennel or owner of a security dog which is located on commercially or industrially zoned property shall be subject to the provisions of this section as it relates to dogs or cats which habitually bark, whine, howl, meow, cry, scream, or cause objectionable noises.
Upon receipt of a sworn complaint affidavit from a citizen, or a statement from an animal control officer alleging a violation of this section, an animal control officer shall investigate and may cause to be issued a Notice of Violation to any dog or cat owner or custodian alleged to be in violation of this section, if the investigation supports such an action. Said affidavit shall specify the address or location of the alleged violation; the nature, time and date of the acts; the name and address of the custodian of the animal, if known; a description of the animal, if known; and shall notify the violator that he or she has 72 hours to abate the nuisance or a citation will be issued. After the 72-hour period has lapsed, a citation shall be issued if the nuisance has not been abated. If a citation is not issued to the owner or custodian of the animal as a result of a complaint, the affidavit will only remain valid for a period of 90 days following the date of service to the owner or custodian.
Animal Control recognizes that most nuisance complaints will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. Complaints will be investigated by an Animal Control Officer with the following guidelines in mind: 1. Habitual barking is generally defined as three (3) times within a fourteen(14)-day period for a period of more than fifteen(15) minutes and shall be at such time as to inhibit the normal activities of life. 2. Habitual, for the purpose of the remainder of the nuisance section, is defined as committing the same type of incident twice (2) in a three (3) year period. 3. Animal Control Officer will question the complainant and determine their location in regard to the incident. The ordinance incorporates a reasonable man standard, which shall be considered by the Animal Control Officer. The owner of the animal causing the alleged nuisance will be notified of the complaint against him or her, and will be requested to correct the nuisance situation within seventy-two (72) hours. If, after seventy-two (72) hours, the nuisance is not corrected, the complaining party should contact the investigating officer for further action.
There is a City Ordinance about noise. The ordinance covers unreasonably loud and disturbing noise, noise of such character, quantity, or duration as to be injurious to human or animal life or property, noise of such character, quantity, or duration as to reasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, or noise of such character, quantity, or duration as to unreasonably interfere with the normal conduct of business. Violators must first be warned and if the noise continued they can then be charged by complaint affidavit (normally violators will not be arrested).
- When should I call 911?
Anytime you have a real emergency. Some of which include burglary in progress, building fire, traffic crash with injuries, serious health problems (heart attack, stoke, stop breathing, etc.), prowler, gun shots, home invasion, robbery, and any other possible life threatening incident.
DO NOT CALL 911 FOR:
Electric outages, barking dogs, noise complaints, crimes that have already occurred and there is no damage to a human being, fire crackers on the 4th of July or New Years, traffic violations in your neighbor hood, and similar not in progress and/or non-emergency calls.
365.172 (13) MISUSE OF 911 OR E911 SYSTEM; PENALTY.--911 and E911 service must be used solely for emergency communications by the public. Any person who accesses the number 911 for the purpose of making a false alarm or complaint or reporting false information that could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency; any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service for a purpose other than obtaining public safety assistance; or any person who knowingly uses or attempts to use such service in an effort to avoid any charge for service, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. After being convicted of unauthorized use of such service four times, a person who continues to engage in such unauthorized use commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. In addition, if the value of the service or the service charge obtained in a manner prohibited by this subsection exceeds $100, the person committing the offense commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
- Can golf carts, electric devices, lawn mowers, etc. be operated on public streets?
1. 316.2125 Operation of golf carts within a retirement community.--
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 316.212, the reasonable operation of a golf cart, equipped and operated as provided in s. 316.212(4), (5), and (6), within any self-contained retirement community is permitted unless prohibited under subsection (2).
(2)(a) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of golf carts on any street or highway under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(b) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of golf carts on any street or highway under its jurisdiction if it determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(3) A local governmental entity may enact an ordinance regarding golf cart operation and equipment which is more restrictive than those enumerated in this section. Upon enactment of any such ordinance, the local governmental entity shall post appropriate signs or otherwise inform the residents that such an ordinance exists and that it shall be enforced within the local government's jurisdictional territory. An ordinance referred to in this section must apply only to an unlicensed driver.
2. 316.212 Operation of golf carts on certain roadways.--The operation of a golf cart upon the public roads or streets of this state is prohibited except as provided herein:
(1) A golf cart may be operated only upon a county road that has been designated by a county, or a municipal street that has been designated by a municipality, for use by golf carts. Prior to making such a designation, the responsible local governmental entity must first determine that golf carts may safely travel on or cross the public road or street, considering factors including the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using the road or street. Upon a determination that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the responsible governmental entity shall post appropriate signs to indicate that such operation is allowed.
(2) A golf cart may be operated on a part of the State Highway System only under the following conditions:
(a) To cross a portion of the State Highway System which intersects a county road or municipal street that has been designated for use by golf carts if the Department of Transportation has reviewed and approved the location and design of the crossing and any traffic control devices needed for safety purposes.
(b) To cross, at midblock, a part of the State Highway System where a golf course is constructed on both sides of the highway if the Department of Transportation has reviewed and approved the location and design of the crossing and any traffic control devices needed for safety purposes.
(c) A golf cart may be operated on a state road that has been designated for transfer to a local government unit pursuant to s. 335.0415 if the Department of Transportation determines that the operation of a golf cart within the right-of-way of the road will not impede the safe and efficient flow of motor vehicular traffic. The department may authorize the operation of golf carts on such a road if:
1. The road is the only available public road along which golf carts may travel or cross or the road provides the safest travel route among alternative routes available; and
2. The speed, volume, and character of motor vehicular traffic using the road is considered in making such a determination.
Upon its determination that golf carts may be operated on a given road, the department shall post appropriate signs on the road to indicate that such operation is allowed.
(3) Any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, a golf cart may be operated for the purpose of crossing a street or highway where a single mobile home park is located on both sides of the street or highway and is divided by that street or highway, provided that the governmental entity having original jurisdiction over such street or highway shall review and approve the location of the crossing and require implementation of any traffic controls needed for safety purposes. This subsection shall apply only to residents or guests of the mobile home park. Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, if notice is posted at the entrance and exit to any mobile home park that residents of the park utilize golf carts or electric vehicles within the confines of the park it shall not be necessary that the park have a gate or other device at the entrance and exit in order for such golf carts or electric vehicles to be lawfully operated in the park.
(4) A golf cart may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset, unless the responsible governmental entity has determined that a golf cart may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise and the golf cart is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield.
(5) A golf cart must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear.
(6) A golf cart may not be operated on public roads or streets by any person under the age of 14.
(7) A local governmental entity may enact an ordinance regarding golf cart operation and equipment which is more restrictive than those enumerated in this section. Upon enactment of any such ordinance, the local governmental entity shall post appropriate signs or otherwise inform the residents that such an ordinance exists and that it shall be enforced within the local government's jurisdictional territory. An ordinance referred to in this section must apply only to an unlicensed driver.
(8) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a moving violation for infractions of subsection (1), subsection (2), subsection (3), subsection (4), or a local ordinance corresponding thereto and enacted pursuant to subsection (7), or punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a nonmoving violation for infractions of subsection (5), subsection (6), or a local ordinance corresponding thereto and enacted pursuant to subsection (7).
3. 316.2122 Operation of a low-speed vehicle on certain roadways.--The operation of a low-speed vehicle, as defined in s. 320.01(42) ("Low-speed vehicle" means any four-wheeled electric vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour, including neighborhood electric vehicles. Low-speed vehicles must comply with the safety standards in 49 C.F.R. s. 571.500 and s. 316.2122.), on any road as defined in s. 334.03(15) or (33), is authorized with the following restrictions:
(1) A low-speed vehicle may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. This does not prohibit a low-speed vehicle from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
(2) A low-speed vehicle must be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers.
(3) A low-speed vehicle must be registered and insured in accordance with s. 320.02.
(4) Any person operating a low-speed vehicle must have in his or her possession a valid driver's license.
(5) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of low-speed vehicles on any road under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(6) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of low-speed vehicles on any road under its jurisdiction if it determines that such prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
4. 316.2068 Electric personal assistive mobility devices; regulations.--
(1) An electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined in s. 316.003 ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE.--Any self-balancing, two-nontandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, on a paved level surface when powered solely by such a propulsion system while being ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. Electric personal assistive mobility devices are not vehicles as defined in this section. , may be operated:
(a) On a road or street where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.
(b) On a marked bicycle path.
(c) On any street or road where bicycles are permitted.
(d) At an intersection, to cross a road or street even if the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour.
(e) On a sidewalk, if the person operating the device yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and gives an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
(2) A valid driver's license is not a prerequisite to operating an electric personal assistive mobility device.
(3) Electric personal assistive mobility devices need not be registered and insured in accordance with s. 320.02.
(4) A person who is under the age of 16 years may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an electric personal assistive mobility device unless the person wears a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, that is fastened securely upon his or her head by a strap, and that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets which are adopted by the department.
(5) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road, street, or bicycle path under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.
(6) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road under its jurisdiction if it determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.