SEPTEMBER 26, 1972

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners convened in the Commissioners’ Room, Courthouse, Tavares, Florida, on Tuesday September 26, 1972, at 9:00 a.m. for the purpose of finalizing the budget for the fiscal year 1972-73, and any other business which may be brought before the Board.

All members being present, the meeting was called to order by the Chairman and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


It now being the time advertised for a public hearing on the budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1972 and ending September 30, 1973, and no one having appeared to object to said budget, on motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Deems and unanimously carried, the Board approved and adopted the tentative budget as advertised.

salaries and wages

On the motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Carson and carried unanimously, salary for Mary Valentine was increased effective July 1, 1972 from $5,148.00 to $5,406.00 annually.

safety council

A request from the Safety Council for an extension telephone in the Lake County Water Authority Office so the telephone can be answered in the absence of the secretary was approved on the motion of Commr. Carson seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried unanimously.

county buildings

Chairman Windram submitted a letter from the Division of Family Services advising as of October 1, 1972 it will no longer be necessary for them to occupy the offices located at 103 Sinclair Avenue, Tavares.  Mr. Windram recommended that Bob Stroud and his secretary move into a part of the building and move the Welfare Director to the second floor.

public health

The Chairman filed a letter from the Public Service Commission relative to efforts of Mr. H. L. Austin to create a non-profit water and sewer system in the County.  This was referred to Mr. Ford to obtain more information.

Also, Mr. Windram advised he has received information from Tallahassee that additional funds will not be available under the Septic Tank and Sanitary Landfill Contract.  The Clerk was instructed to notify the State Department of Pollution that in view of insufficient funds, Lake County requests that the State Department of Pollution continue with the program.


Sheriff Frank F. Meech appeared and requested the Board’s consideration of a revision in Board policy on “earned gain time” for sentenced prisoners in the County Jail.  The present 5 days per month earned does not conform to the present Statutes.  Sheriff Meech recommended the following policy be adopted:

Men working 4-1/2 days per week get 5 days earned time per month.

Men working as Trustees 7 days per week earn 7 days per month.

Men working as kitchen helpers 12 hours per day, 7 days a week, will receive 9 days earned time per month.


The Sheriff explained that the Board can allow up to 15 days per month for good behavior and extra work duties.  On motion of Commr. Deems/VanAuken, the Board adopted the policy as outlined for “earned gain time.”


Mr. Schornak representing Lake Ambulance Service appeared and explained he is operating a new ambulance service in the area, including emergency techniques and is already getting calls from the Sheriff’s Department and the Highway Patrol.  Mr. Schornak said he feels there is a need for his service to the area and asked the Board’s consideration of assistance to carry on the program.  Mr. Deems said from meeting with State representatives he got the opinion that too many ambulance services covering the same territory tend to water down the equipment and personnel resulting in substandard ambulance service.  Mr. Carson said he feels this private service is no doubt needed but feel we should contract with the ambulance services already in the County, and would appear throughout the County.  The Chairman thanked Mr. Schornak for making the members aware of his service, but stated it is the feeling of the Board that we should continue to contract with the present services in the County.

county health director

Dr. Charles F. Bradley, presently Health Director in Collier County, appeared at the request of the Board to discuss the position being vacated by Dr. Hall’s resignation.  At the end of the interview, Mr. Deems asked Dr. Bradley to visit the Lake County Health Department and determine, if any, new programs that should be initiated.  The Clerk was instructed to call Dr. Hall and ask that all facilities, files, etc. be made available to Dr. Bradley for review and inspection.

roads – state

Commr. Hoskinson reported on a meeting with DOT regarding the problems in the area of SR 19 and 25.  DOT feels the problem is the Turnpike Exit and not the interchange.  Mr. Harpster said he has not given final approval on Ramada Inn because they have not submitted complete plans on sewerage plant and internal traffic flow.  On the recommendation of the Attorney, and on the motion of Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried unanimously, the action placing a moratorium on building permits in the area of the interchange of SR 19 and 25 was rescinded and building permits will be issued.

roads – county

On the recommendation of the County Engineer and on motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Carson and carried unanimously, the Board approved that no maintenance be done east of the cattle gap on County Road 4-6797 (Brantley Branch Road), because of no right-of-way.

maps and plats

Mr. Ed Martin, representing Royal Palm Beach Colony, Inc., appeared and presented a Plat of Royal Trails Unit No. 1.  Mr. Harpster said all the Subdivision Regulations have been met and funds for construction will be placed in escrow with the Florida Land Sales Board.  Mr. Ford submitted information from the Division of Florida Land Sales recommending that an additional provision be made to the Trust Agreement, to wit:  The Division may in its discretion in case of the default by the First Party assign said funds to the Lake County Commission to be utilized by said Commission for the benefit of purchasers or prospective purchasers of lands in the same manner as if carried out by the Division.  Mr. Ford recommended that the above policy be accepted as part of the Agreement.

On motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and carried unanimously, the Plat of Royal Trails Unit No. 1 was approved and accepted for recording in the Official Records.


Chairman Windram advised the polling place for Precinct No. 43 will be the lobby of the main entrance at the Vo-Tech School.


Attorney Ford referred to a letter from Judge John W. Booth requesting formal action of the Board in designating the courtrooms with appropriate signs placed on or over the doors.  Commr. Hoskinson moved that the courtrooms be so designated as outlined in Judge Booth’s letter of September 21, 1972, and the Custodian be instructed to have the appropriate signs erected.  The motion was seconded by Commr. Carson and carried unanimously.

The Question was raised from the letter, did Judge Booth intend for the courtrooms to be used solely for court purposes or would they be made available to other governmental agencies when not in use by the courts.  Attorney Ford was instructed to obtain Judge Booth’s opinion on this.


Attorney Ford reported he has received an offer to settle the suit brought by Sulphur Springs Ranch Ltd. and feels it is proper since we do not have a valid basis for the increased 1971 assessment if we go to trial.  On the motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and carried unanimously, the Attorney was authorized to settle the suit if the Plaintiff will agree to a $200,000 assessment for 1971 and $281,000 for 1972.

recess and assembly

The meeting recessed at 12 o’clock noon and reconvened with Commrs. Windram, Deems and VanAuken present, together with Mrs. Barbara Wyckoff and Mr. Paul Bryan sitting as the Board of Tax Adjustment.  Mr. R. G. Cassady, Tax Assessor, was also present.

Petition No. 1972-16 – Mount Plymouth Manor, Inc. was represented by Mr. Peter Brooks who asked for a continuation of this hearing since had only received notice of same last Friday.  Mr. Ford informed the Board there is a question as to the validity of this hearing since the Board has continued the hearings once before and the petition was received after the determination that all petitions must be in the Clerk’s Office by September 12th.  It is necessary for the Board to take formal action to accept the petition since it was received late.  On the motion of Commr. Deems, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board accepted the petition.

Mr. Cassady advised this is a platted subdivision and is assessed on a lot basis.  Total assessment is $117,400 and when the property was purchased in 1965 the owners paid approximately $210.00.  Mr. Brooks said the owners are only protesting about half of the property.  Only 40 lots are sold and 500 more are under contract.  The lots are not considered sold until the deed is transferred to the owner, which in most cases is 10 years in the future.  Mr. Ford said in his opinion the lots would be considered sold when the contract is made.  Mr. Cassady stated the lots are considered sold because the only way the developer could take the land back would be for the purchaser to default on the payments.

On the motion of Mr. Bryan, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried unanimously, the petition for relief was denied.

The Tax Adjustment Board adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

The Board of County Commissioners reconvened to take up the remaining items of business.

accounts allowed

On the motion of Commr. Carson, seconded by Commr. VanAuken and carried unanimously, the Board authorized expenditure of $75.00 for travel for employees of computing firm to meet with Bob Stroud regarding the Community Services Center.

On the motion of Commr. VanAuken, seconded by Commr. Hoskinson and carried unanimously, payroll for Clerks and Inspectors who served at the polls on September 12, 1972, second primary, was approved in the amount of $6,939.25.

The Board approved petty cash fund of $40.00 to be used for making change at the landfill sites.

funds – transfers

Request from the Sheriff on recommendation of the State Auditor, fund transfer in the amount of $1,367.04 from account “Salaries of Deputies and Assistants” to “Expenses Other than Salaries” to cover overdraft in the 1970-71 budget was approved on the motion of Commr. Hoskinson, seconded by Commr. Carson and carried unanimously.

There being no further business to bring before the Board, the meeting adjourned.


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CLERK                                                                                                                                   chairman