MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING OF BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 13, 1972
The Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, convened in special session in the Commissioners’ Room, Courthouse, Tavares, Florida, on Wednesday, September 13, 1972, at 9:00 a.m. for the purpose of sitting as the Board of Tax Adjustment and to consider any other business brought before the Board.
Chairman Windram called the meeting to order with the following members present: Thomas J. Windram, Chairman; C. A. Deems; and Kenneth VanAuken. Others present were: Frank E. Owens, Clerk of Circuit Court; and Norma H. Coven, Deputy Clerk. Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney was also in attendance.
elections – primary
Chairman Windram informed the Board he has received a telephone call from Mrs. Katherine L. Baker, Supervisor of Elections and she will not be available for the Canvassing Board. Therefore, Mr. Windram, as Chairman according to Statutes 102.141 appointed J. M. Hoskinson to replace Mrs. Baker on the Canvassing Board.
The Chairman then announced since according to the Statutes, the Chairman of the Board is to serve on both Boards, it will be necessary to appoint someone in the Chairman’s place. On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, James R. Carson, Jr. was appointed to act as Chairman of the Canvassing Board.
tax adjustment board
Chairman Windram announced we will now convene as the Board of Tax Adjustment and recognized Mrs. Wyckoff and Mr. Bryan as members of the Board and R. G. Cassady, Tax Assessor.
Petition No. 1972-9 – Holt S. McKinney, Petitioner, was present and submitted written Petition seeking relief of assessed valuation of agricultural lands. Mr. Ford said Mr. McKinney’s opinion of agricultural lands is correct, but his claim that the land has no value as grove is incorrect. He makes this statement on the basis that he has lost money on the grove. It may be ideal residence land may be well worth $3,000.00 an acre. Mr. Cassady said he is estimating his assessment on an income basis and the lands are assessed low.
On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Mr. Bryan and unanimously carried the request for relief was denied.
Petition No. 1972-10 – Milo B. Jackson, Petitioner, was present and explained he has sold four (4) parcels of the land. The remaining land is used solely for agriculture and pasture. The Chairman explained it is the procedure of the Board to review the assessor’s records before making a decision.
Petition No. 1972-11 – Petitioner Dwight S. Davis, Jr. was present and asked for a reduction of assessed valuation on apartment building. Chairman Windram advised his request will be considered after reviewing the Assessor’s records.
Petition No. 1972-12 – Mrs. Alvin C. Penn – Nonagricultural land assessed at full market value, Mr. Cassady stated Mrs. Penn does not feel her house is as valuable as others in the area, but we do not agree. Mrs. Penn was present and gave oral argument for relief of the assessment. The Chairman advised her the request would be considered after review of the Assessor’s records.
Petition No. 1972-14 – Donald Bronson, petitioner, appeared and requested a reduction in assessed value of pasture land. Action deferred until review of the records.
Petition No. 1972-15 – Petitioner Stanley E. Bainter was present and advised his assessment was increased from $4800 to $26,000. Mr. Cassady stated approximately $16,000 in improvements have been made to the property and the land value is about $10,000. Mr. Bainter said all the improvements were made by him and his family and the mobile home is only a temporary residence; 20 acres of improved pasture and 20 acres of swamp. The property is zoned agriculture and that is the intended purpose for the land. Action deferred until review of the records.
Petition No. 1972-6 – Sulphur Springs Ranch, Ltd. Petitioner. David King, Attorney, representing the petitioner was present. The Chairman called for an opinion from the County Attorney. Mr. Ford stated it appears that part of the lands are pasture and part of the land is timber. Do not feel that all the lands are legally used as agriculture and should not be assessed as such. Feel the Board could ask the petitioner to furnish the actual amount of lands in timber and acreage. If the petitioner is going to cut all trees, they would have a very valid claim, but so far they have not presented this evidence.
Mr. King argued the assessment is in excess and he was advised the Board would review the Assessor’s record and make a determination.
Petition No. 1972-13 – W. F. Austin & Sons et al petitioner. Neal D. Huebsch, Attorney for the petitioners appeared and argued that the increased assessment is too great and not consistent with adjoining property. Action was deferred pending a review of the records by the Board.
Letter from Lawson L. Wolfe on behalf of his mother, Mrs. Dorothy D. Wolfe, Executrix of the Estate of Fred L. Wolfe, was read by the Chairman asking for an extension of time in which to make formal protest of 500% increase in assessed value of lands in Clermont. The Clerk was instructed to notify Mr. Wolfe to appear at 8:45 A.M. on September 19th, provided the Board receives notice of his appearance by September 18th. The Assessor was requested to write letter of explanation to him.
Letter from Frederick R. Grainer objecting to increase in valuation from $500 to $1,000 on lot he purchased in 1971 for $3500, was read. On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Mr. Bryan and unanimously carried, the valuation was upheld.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
The meeting recessed at 11:45 o’clock A.M. for lunch and reconvened at 1:00 o’clock P.M. in the Office of the Tax Assessor.
Attorney David King was present regarding Petition No. 1972-6 and gave the correct acreage of the land as 1200 acres in scrub, 1100 acres swamp and hammock, 800 acres semi-improved pasture, 130 acres improved pasture. Of the 1200 scrub acres less than 1,000 wooded. Mr. Ford recommended that the members of the Board fly over the property with the forester.
Later Mr. Ford presented Supreme Court ruling in the case Sapp vs. Conrad and recommended that the agricultural zoning be granted on the basis of this case. On recommendation of the Assessor and on motion of Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried, the valuation was reduced as follows: 130 improved acres @ $150.00; 600 acres lowland @ $20.00; and balance of land @ $100.00, making a total assessment of $281,500 on 3,192 total acres and the buildings.
Petition No. 1972-13 – Attorney Huebsch appeared and stated the subdivision involved in the lands in question stayed dormant for a number of years and suddenly the lots began to move. Have sold 52 lots of the original 85 this year. On motion of Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried, the request was denied.
Petition No. 1972-10 – Mr. Cassady reported the valuations are 27 acres at $300.00, 17 acres unimproved pasture and 9 acres marsh and wild land at $50.00. Mr. Jackson sold several parcels at $2,000.00 per acre. On motion of Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Mrs. Wyckoff and unanimously carried, the request was denied.
Petition No. 1972-12 – Mr. Cassady advised that Mrs. Penn claims the adjoining property is assessed less than her property. The entire property was appraised this year and new values established. If the Board feels the lots across the road are of equal value, the assessment on them can be increased. On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Mr. Bryan and unanimously carried, the request was denied.
Petition No. 1972-15 – Mr. Cassady advised total assessment is $26,800, which includes the land at $8,960; 1971 double wide mobile home at $10,000; a cabin at $2,360; and barn at $4,570. Mr. Bainter paid $40,000 for the land before improvements. Everyone in the area was raised this year. On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried, the request was denied.
Petition No. 1972-11 – Mr. Cassady informed the Board, Mr. Davis is comparing his apartment building with another. His apartments are smaller but there is more plumbing and partitions per square foot. The request was denied on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Mrs. Wyckoff and unanimously carried.
Petition No. 1972-14 – Mr. Cassady advised this property is in the area revalued last year to $125 per acre. The assessment increased about double. On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the assessed value was reduced to $75 per acre, making a total reduction in the assessment of $16,900.
The Chairman announced the Board of Tax Adjustment is recessed until 8:45 A.M. Sept. 19, 1972.
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened in the Commissioners’ Room with Fred M. Harpster, County Engineer, present.
bonds – miscellaneous
On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried, firearm bonds were approved for the following:
Henry B. Adams (2)
Also, bonds on the following were cancelled:
L. V. Ryals
C. L. Padgett, Jr.
S. A. Holcomb
On motion of Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Commr. Deems and carried, Certificates of Competency for the following contractors were approved:
No. 312 - Harry W. Sargent (Swimming Pools – Renewal)
337 - Thos. E. Walker dba Jim Walter Homes, Inc. (Renewal)
876 - Donald K. Buth (W. M. Sanderlin Corp.) (New)
877 - George Granger (Carpentry) (New)
879 - Newcome C. Adams dba John’s Cabinets (New)
880 - Alfred W. Mattern dba Tropical Plbg. (New)
881 - Richard C. Sprag (Class B) (New)
882 - D. M. Caustic dba Gasoline Equip. Service, Inc. (New)
883 - R. C. Hodson dba Robbins Elec. Co. (New)
884 - Robt. V. Zike dba Zike Htg. & A/C (New)
885 - O. O. Owens dba Owens & Sons (Electrical) (New)
878 - Wm. T. Snyder dba REsa Corp. (New)
On recommendation of the Engineer and on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the Board approved a waiver of charges for the dumping of trash and refuse at the County Landfill for the National Guard and the Department of Transportation.
Commrs. Carson and Hoskinson were present at this time.
Clerk Owens informed the Board that bids on diesel fuel and gasoline from Standard Oil Co. were overlooked at the bid opening on September 12 because they were combined with the grease bid. On advice of the Attorney, the following quotations from Standard Oil Co. were tabulated.
Diesel Fuel (Transport) $.1337 per gallon
Diesel Fuel (Tankwagon) $.1537 per gallon
Regular Gasoline 94 Octane $.1485 per gallon
Regular Gasoline 100 Octane $.1685 per gallon
The bids were referred to the County Engineer for study and recommendation to the Board.
On advice of the County Attorney, bid on concrete pipe from National Pipe Co. was returned unopened because the bid was received after the time advertised.
Mr. Harpster reported Macasphalt Corp. has advised they no longer need to lease additional County property at the landfill site for expanding the present asphalt plant.
Mr. Harpster reported on the Forest Service is agreeable to the County using an additional ten acres for landfill site at Paisley provided it is fenced and a full time attendant on the premises. Volusia County has been contacted for help in providing the attendant.
The Engineer advised he has had a request from the Florida Highway Patrol for use of a five acre tract of land to be used as a drivers’ license station. He was requested to discuss the possible use of land at the Astatula landfill.
roads – county
On request from the residents along County Road #4-5175 (East Lake Joanna Drive and West Lake Joanna Drive), a Resolution was adopted to change the name of the roads to Wesley Road, on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and unanimously carried.
Mr. Harpster advised with reference to improvements in Hartle Road, Mr. Hartle refuses to donate right of way sufficient to extend the right of way to 60’. In order to extend the present right of way, will have to go prescriptive 1/3 of the road. On motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried, the Engineer was instructed to pave only the portion of road with 60’ right of way.
The Board instructed Mr. Harpster to work drainage problems with Mr. Thornburg before any improvements to the road are made. (Ohio St. in Eustis at SR 44).
roads – state
The Board refused to allow the Road & Bridge Department to overlay approximately 1,000’ section of SR 439 at a cost of $2500.
maps & plats
On recommendation of the Engineer and on motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the Board accepted petition of Mr. Pett Varnes to close a portion of unrecorded plat on existing County Road #1-7939 near the Marion County Line and authorized a public hearing to consider same.
Mr. Harpster advised he has received no offers to purchase the Addresso-graph machine in the Tax Assessor’s and Tax Collector’s Offices. He was instructed to notify Mr. Hall to trade the machine when purchasing a new one.
elections – primary
The Board approved the appointment of Clerks and Inspectors to serve on the Election Boards in the secondary primary.
On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the Board approved the purchase of Adler Adding Machine from Simons Office Equipment at a cost of $129.50 for the Clerk’s Office.
Purchase of a filing cabinet from Girl Friday for the Veterans Service Office in the sum of $75.00 was approved by the Board.
Three (3) pairs of snake boots for Pollution Control employees in the sum of $149.85 was approved on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried.
On recommendation of the Engineer and on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Carson and unanimously carried, the Board rejected all bids on the mowing machines and authorized the Clerk to readvertise for bids for October 10.
suits affecting county
Attorney Ford informed the Board he needs guidance concerning the Sulphur Springs Ranch Suit. Have recommended to them that they accept the $281,000 assessment for 1971, but they want it reduced to $200,000. On instructions from the Board, the Attorney will notify them the assessment for 1971 will remain at $281,000.
On motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Carson and unanimously carried, the Clerk was instructed to publish the tentative budgets in the Daily Commercial and state the Board will meet on September 26 at 10:00 A.M. for the purpose of hearing requests and complaints from the public regarding the budgets.
On motion of Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and unanimously carried, the Clerk was authorized to advertise for bids for microfilm equipment for the Clerk’s Office.
There being no further business to bring before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.