thursday, february 19, 1959


The Board of County Commissioners met in called session in the Courtroom in the Courthouse at Tavares on Thursday, February 19, 1959, for the purpose of hearing the Report of Attorney Duncan on his conference with Attorney General Richard Ervin in Tallahassee on how the Board of County Commissioners can legally release County funds to provide temporary housing for the county juvenile delinquents in compliance with an Order issued February 16, 1959 by Judge Futch and such other matters as may be brought before the Board, with the following present:  Chairman Simpson; Commissioners Theus, Cowart, Hooten and Cross; Attorney Duncan; and Clerk Owens.

The Board was called to order by Chairman Simpson, who stated he called this meeting in order for Mr. Duncan to report on what he found out in Tallahassee regarding taking care of the juveniles.

title search requests by state road department

Before the discussion started, Clerk Owens stated he has some matters to be disposed of and reported that on February 11, 1959 he received from the State Road Department a request for a title search on Job 11580-2601, SR S44A tying in with Road 46 to Sanford, and he that day gave the right of way map to Lake Abstract & Guaranty Company requesting them to make a title search.

Mr. Owens reported he received this morning a request from the State Road Department for a title search on Job 11684-2601, SR S-450 (SR 19 South of Umatilla to SR S-44A).

On a motion by Commr. Cross, seconded by Commr. Cowart and carried, Inland Abstract & Title Company was requested to make a title search on Job 11684-2601, SR S-450 (SR 19 South of Umatilla to SR S-44A) and that the action of Clerk Owens in requesting Lake Abstract & Title Guarantee Company to make a title search on Job 11580-2601, SR S44A tying in with Road 46 to Sanford was approved.

Clerk Owens reported to the Board that the School Board has brought to his attention that the rooms in the Pioneer Building used by them need painting.  Mr. Owens asked if the Commissioners want to buy the paint or leave it up to the School Board.  We have in the jail a painter who could do the work.  Commr. Hooten suggested that the Commissioners buy the paint.  Clerk stated the policy has been that the County pays for the paint.

Motion by Commr. Hooten, seconded by Commr. Cowart and carried that the Board of County Commissioners have the rooms in the Pioneer Building occupied by the School Board painted.

Clerk Owens reported that the Board has spent half of the amount budgeted for the Hospital Service for the Indigent in four months and have eight more months to go.  Suggest will have to slow down on expenditures.  The amount budgeted is $45, 829; expended to date $22,637.70 – balance on hand $23,191.30.

discussion regarding juvenile detention facility

At this time, Commr. Simpson asked Mr. Duncan if he has a report to make to the Board on his findings in Tallahassee.

Mr. Duncan stated at the request of the Board, I went to Tallahassee to confer with the Auditing Department to find out whether or not the Board could legally release County funds to provide temporary housing for the county’s juvenile delinquents due to the emergency which has arisen in order that the Board can comply with the Court Order issued February 16th.  I discussed this at length with Bryan Willis, State Auditor.  He finally told me that as the Court has issued an order prohibiting us from putting juveniles in the County jail and we have no other place to put them, he was of the opinion that we have an emergency, and under the emergency, the budget should be flexible enough that this money could be transferred to another fund which would take care of the emergency; probably will have to set up another item in the budget to take care of this.  Mr. Willis advised that if we would pass a resolution showing the necessity for this and the emergency which has arisen, he would approve the amendment to the budget to take care of this order.  The money should be transferred to a special fund for the repairing or building of a building such as may be necessary for housing the juvenile delinquents.  Mr. Hooten asked how much do we have in the Fund, to which Clerk Owens replied $100,000.  Mr. Simpson said any money transferred to this fund would come out of the Road and Bridge Fund (race track money).

Judge Hall, with a delegation composed of the Children’s Advisory Committee and others, appeared before the Board and urged that the Board give consideration to provisions for long-range permanent facilities for the juveniles instead of a temporary structure.  During the discussion, it was brought out that a local bill to provide a one mill, two-year levy to finance the permanent facilities will be presented by Rep. C. Welborn Daniel at the ensuing legislative session.  Mr. Duncan pointed out to the delegation that money from this levy would not be available before November 1960.

Judge Hall stated the Children’s Advisory Committee is going to Bartow on February 27th to make a survey of juvenile facilities there.  He invited the Board and the members of the Legislature to make the trip with them.  Judge Hall pointed out that the jail and juvenile detention facilities are not compatible and should not be under the same roof, in the same building, or in close proximity to each other.  Mr. Williams, Chairman of the Children’s Committee, stated a copy of the bill regarding finances has been sent to each Commissioner, and if the legislature passes the bill, the Commissioners will not have to wait until the money is collected to start the detention home but can borrow the money.  Others who commented to the Board were Father Mangum, Mt. Dora Episcopal Church; Dr. Miller (Mrs.), a retired Public Health Child Welfare worker from New York; President of the County Federation of Women’s Clubs, Lake County; a Methodist minister and his assistant from Morrison Memorial Church, Leesburg; Tom Tucker, Scout Master; Barbara Hinebaugh, Secretary of the Children’s Advisory Committee; and Emmett Peter, Publisher, Leesburg Daily.

Sheriff McCall reported there is a dire need of improvement, and we certainly need a juvenile shelter, but some juveniles have to be confined in the jail.

Commr. Cowart suggested that a committee find a location for the building and get started.  He also stated he thinks it is a good idea to view the building in Bartow.  Commr. Hooten stated we are confronted with a problem that needs some study.  Mr. Duncan stated we have an Order before us that needs consideration.  Commr. Theus stated we have had a two-hour discussion here this morning that should not be considered until next September.  Mr. Duncan said the Court Order has put us in a positon that we have to do something.  The juveniles must be put in a place of absolute security.  We do not have a place we can put the children now.  The only thing I can see is that we will have to ask the adjoining counties to take the children.  Commr. Theus stated we discussed at our last meeting the use of the home demonstration building.   The Chairman, the Clerk, and Mr. Duncan talked to Mrs. Valentine, but did not come to any definite conclusion.  The walls are not substantial.  The only thing we could do quickly would be to put in bars.  Commr. Theus thinks the adjoining counties should be contacted to see if they will take the juveniles from this county.  Commr. Hooten agreed with Commr. Theus to check with Volusia and Marion counties.  Judge Hall stated he has already approached Orange County, and that county does not have adequate facilities to take care of them.  That is the only county I have contacted.

Commr. Cross suggested that Mr. Goodson be instructed to get plans and specifications from other counties.  On a motion by Commr. Cross, seconded by Commr. Theus and carried, Charles P. Goodson, County Engineer, was instructed to get plans and specifications from other counties for detention homes for juveniles (5 or 6 counties).

Commr. Theus stated before going to Bartow, we should look at the detention home in Ocala.

Commr. Simpson stated that Mr. Owens and Mr. Duncan were appointed to check on the old jail building (now the Home Demonstration Building) with a view of using it to house the juveniles.  I went with them Monday to look at the building.  It would take a lot of money to put it in shape for a detention home.

recess and reassembly

The meeting adjourned for lunch and was reconvened at 2:00 p.m.

Mr. Duncan reported that Judge Futch is not yet back from lunch, and he left word for him to come to the meeting when he comes in.  Clerk Owens presented a sketch of County-owned property in the block on which the Chamber of Commerce building is located and in the block on which the Mosquito Control is located.  The north side of the property on the Chamber of Commerce lot is 87.9 feet by 78.67 feet.  Commr. Cross stated he has drawn up plans for a building to be built with concrete blocks reinforced with steel, 24 feet by 62 feet that will cost approximately 11 or 12 thousand dollars.  Commr. Simpson stated he thinks the Chamber of Commerce lot is better than the lot east of the Courthouse for the building.  There was discussion about purchasing the lots north and west of the Chamber of Commerce building.  Mr. Duncan stated the property on the north is owned by Annabel W. Franks, Box 956, Tavares, and the lot on the west is owned by Marion E. Mears, Box 1136, Tavares.

At this time (2:35), Judge Futch came into the meeting, and Commr. Simpson asked Mr. Duncan to explain to the Judge what he has done.  Mr. Duncan stated subsequent to the issuance of your Order, I was instructed by the Commissioners to go to Tallahassee and contact the Auditing Department on how to legally release County funds to provide temporary housing for the juvenile delinquents.  I went to Tallahassee and was informed by the Auditing Department that upon passage of a resolution setting up an emergency and setting up the source of the money, they will approve the transfer of the money to a new section of the budget to comply with the Court Order.  With this in mind, the Board called a meeting today.  We need a place to put the children now, not a year from now.  It has been suggested that you might amend your Order.  If you have any suggestions as to what we might do, we will be glad to hear from you.  Judge Futch stated, “The law as you know does not prohibit it, but I do not think it will be satisfactory to put the children in the jail.  I do not see how you can possibly make room for them up there.  Juveniles should never be put in anything that is called a jail!”  Mr. Duncan stated, “We have not been working along that line directly.  We are working on a proposition where they can be housed close to the jail, but not in it.”  Put a building on one of the adjoining lots – not permanent – a temporary one-story construction so it can be used for housing records later. Judge Futch stated he does not see why that could not be worked out.  Mr. Duncan asked, “Do I understand, Judge, if we can build a temporary detention home that may later be used to store records, that that would be satisfactory?” Judge Futch replied, “I do not see why it wouldn’t.”  Judge Hall stated, “I think it would be acceptable.”  Commr. Cross explained to Judge Futch the building that the Board has in mind.  Construct an L shaped building that might not necessarily be temporary.  Judge Futch stated: “Would have no objection to this.  Give them decent quarters and away from the hardened criminals they come in contact with in the jail.”  Commr. Simpson stated: “We think this is a method that can be worked out to comply with your Order, and Mr. Duncan has stated the money can be made available.”

On a motion by Commr. Cowart, seconded by Commr. Theus and carried, the Board will proceed with the construction of a building on the back lot of the Chamber of Commerce building, with money to be transferred from the Road and Bridge Fund for an emergency and that Commr. Cross and County Engineer Goodson be authorized to draw up plans and the work be started as soon as possible.

Commr. Cross stated if they could get a waiver on time for taking bids, they could start the work tomorrow.  Mr. Duncan was instructed to phone Tallahassee and find out about this.

On a motion by Commr. Theus, seconded by Commr. Cowart and carried, the following Resolution was adopted:

WHEREAS, the Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida has entered an order prohibiting the incarceration of juveniles in the County jail contrary to the practice heretofore followed, and

WHEREAS, Lake County has no other secure building within which juvenile delinquents may be placed for detention, and because of said order, it is mandatory that Lake County make provision for and construct a juvenile detention building of maximum security at the earliest possible moment, and

WHEREAS, no funds in the current budget are available for the purpose of constructing a maximum safety juvenile delinquent building, and it is necessary that the Lake County budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1958 be amended in order to transfer and provide sufficient funds for the purpose of constructing such building in the immediate future.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County that the County budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1958 be amended as follows:

Transfer from the reserve for contingencies in the Road and Bridge Fund the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000) to item numbered 844 – “Maximum Security Detention for Juveniles.”



/s/ Frank E. Owens                                                                 /s/ O. M. Simpson           

CLERK                                                                                   CHAIRMAN