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The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically supports the proposed appropriation of funds to construct a new 2nd District Court of Appeal (DCA) facility in Lakeland.

The 2nd DCA has resided in Lakeland since its inception in 1956 and while some have stated a preference to relocate the court to Hillsborough or Pinellas County, such a position is self-serving and not in the best interest of those served by the 2nd DCA.

Lakeland is strategically situated to best serve all those within the 2nd DCA via our western Polk County location, adjacent to the Hillsborough County line. Lakeland provides access to the 2nd DCA facilities via I-4 from the west and east and I-75, SR 17, and SR 27 from the south. Further, the 2nd DCA offers satellite offices located on the campus of the Stetson Law Center in Tampa which are suitable to accommodate instances where the Lakeland location is not ideal.

It should also not be forgotten that Florida Statute 35.05 (1) specifically states that, “The headquarters of the…Second Appellate District (shall be) in the Tenth Judicial Circuit, Lakeland, Polk County.” Taking this opportunity to invest in the 2nd DCA and provide it with new facilities within Polk County will allow the court the best opportunity to continue its excellent service of all those within its jurisdiction while incorporating the latest technology to address the needs of the current pandemic and post-pandemic world.

“The Chamber appreciates Senator Stargel’s efforts on behalf of our community and we look forward to working with her to champion the creation of a state-of-the-art facility in Lakeland that will best serve the needs of all those who reside within the 2nd DCA’s jurisdiction,” said Cory Skeates, President & CEO of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.

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