A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
june 26, 1974
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Wednesday, June 26, 1974 at 8:00 p.m. at the Agriculture Center, Tavares, Florida, to discuss a proposed fire plan for the unincorporated areas of Lake County. Members present were: Glenn C. Burhans, Vice Chairman; C.A. Deems; Thomas J. Windram; and J.M. Hoskinson. Others present were: Dick Singletary, Attorney representing Christopher C. Ford, County Attorney; and Andrea Gambrell, Deputy Clerk. Absent was James R. Carson, Jr.
Mr. Tom Horton, President of the Lake County Firemans Association, appeared and stated that he had polled each Fire Department Chief and they in turn had polled their men to inquire about the feelings regarding this proposed Fire Plan as presented by the Division of Forestry.
LEESBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT Chief Taylor stated that Leesburg was not included in the plan and did not have a comment at this time.
MOUNT DORA FIRE DEPARTMENT There was no representative present.
SORRENTO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Wilbur Keen stated that he had not had time to study the plan closely and had no comment.
LAKE LOUISE SECURITY PATROL Mr. Denny Wright stated that their organization could not agree to the plan as it is designed now, but with modifications they might consider it.
CLERMONT VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Robert Smythe stated that their organization could not go along with the Fire Plan as presented. He pointed out the differences of fighting a rural fire in relation to a city fire.
UMATILLA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. John Jackson stated that their organization could not agree with the Fire Plan as presented. His main interest was where the funds to support a Fire Plan for the unincorporated areas would come from.
BASSVILLE PARK VOLUNTERR FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Bill Chambers stated that their organization could not agree to this plan as presented because of the area assigned to them. He stated that everyone needs to help, and with modifications to this plan, they felt maybe some type of system could be worked out.
GROVELAND VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Kalmonson stated that their Fire Department did not have the equipment to cover the area assigned to them.
MONTVERDE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT There was not a representative present.
FOREST HILLS VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. George Crow stated that their Fire Department could not accept the plan as it existed but might agree to some kind of modified plan.
MT. PLYMOUTH VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Don Atkins stated that their Fire Department could not go along with the plan as it was presented, but if it was modified, they could take it under consideration again.
ALTOONA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Arnold Schriver stated that their Fire Department would like to see the Board of County Commissioners set up Fire Districts.
PASCO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. David Iannone stated that their Fire Department could not agree to the plan as it existed. They are covering a dense area as it stands now and could not cover the area assigned to them adequately.
HOWEY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Nick Vanzito stated that their Fire Department could not increase their coverage, but they would be willing to help in an emergency if it was possible.
MASCOTTE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT There was not a representative present.
YALAHA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Frank Schlegel stated that their Fire Department could not accept the plan at this time.
ASTATULA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT There was not a representative present.
ASTOR FOREST VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Hugh Jones stated that they need a program of this type. Mr. Tom Horton read a statement from the Astor Forest Fire Department, and a copy of this is on file.
LADY LAKE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Arthur, Police Chief of Lady Lake, appeared and stated that the plan needed modifications before it could be accepted.
SOUTH UMATILLA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Pettygrew stated that they respond to calls as far out of the area as possible at the present time.
PAISLEY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Gerald Manning stated that they could not accept the plan as it existed.
PINE LAKES VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT Mr. Malcomb Strand stated that their Department supported the plan.
Private citizens who appeared to express their views were Charles Elliott, retired volunteer fireman, and Mr. Randy Bessel.
Commr. Windram stated that without the support of the Fire Departments, a plan of any kind could not exist. He further stated that from the comments made, the Fire Departments were not against a Fire Plan, but their views on how it should be set up differed from that of the Forestry Service. He suggested the various Departments join together and present to the Board before November the modifications that they feel would be effective in establishing a Fire Plan for the unincorporated areas of Lake County which would please each Fire Department and suggest if individual Fire District taxing would be the best way to obtain revenue for such a system.
Commr. Hoskinson stated that they may want to use the voting precincts as their district boundaries. However, he further stated that the burden will have to be on the people to inform the Commissioners as to the kind of system they want and need. He further stated that the Fire Departments should organize meetings within their areas which will also include the citizens of the area since it will possibly affect them with regard to payment for fire protection.
Commr. Deems stated that it would be to the Departments advantage to make their areas as large as possible so that the millage cap, should this be the decision, will generate the funds needed to support the Department.
There being no further business to bring before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
james r. carson, jr., chairman
James C. Watkins, Clerk