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Sun Coast Gondolier Newspaper Archives Jul 14 1977, Page 1

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Sun Coast Gondolier (Newspaper) - July 14, 1977, Venice, FloridaSun coast gondolier South count y vol. 33, no. 53 a 36 pages second class postage paid at Venice Florida 33595 Telephone 813 484-2611 thursday july 14, 1977 published twice weekly a Price 10c i pension funding okayed by Council reversing an earlier decision Venice City Council voted tuesday to provide $750 for an actuarial tudy on the possibility of establishing a Lopal plan to provide police department employees a better pension program. The Council had earlier refused to go along with sharing in the funding of such a study but reversed itself when councilman Eugene Caffrey decided to go along with the idea. Mayor Harry Case who had persuaded Council to reject the pension study last week cast the Only negative vote on the motion. Councilman John Vickers who has been a Strong supporter of the police departments drive to get a better pension plan originally suggested the City pay up to $1,000 for the study but Caffrey considered the amount too much and endorsed the lower figure of $750. A i am in favor of the uniformed members of our City getting a better pension a Caffrey said but he was not willing to pay the Cost originally suggested. Although the Council has agreed to provide approximately half the Money needed to do the study it will not be authorized for at least several weeks. Council agreed on the advice of City atty. Charles Wheeler to have its uniformed departments pension committee decide exactly what benefits it wants to receive before the actuarial firm is hired. It will then determine what the Cost to the City will be. The current thinking of the department is that it will recommend a local option plan be adopted in conjunction with the state pension program the police Are now under. The Sarasota City police department now operates under such a plan. The Venice police department has been complaining for More than a year that its current state administered pension plan does not offer enough Protection to its officers. One example is a requirement that an officer be on the Force for 10 years before he can receive a disability pension should he be injured on the Job. Other City employees covered under the Florida retirement system frs Are covered from the first Day on the Job. But City officials have All but excluded the possibility of including the uniformed departments under frs because it would Cost the taxpayers More than $100,000 a year. It is the Hope of both the City and the departments that the local option idea will provide benefits similar to frs at a reduced Cost. The new agreement Between the police department and the Council has reduced tensions considerably Between the two parties and is expected to Cool the unrest continued on Page 3 parking lots jammed a tourists visiting the Venice area for the summer have jammed the High ways and parking lots of area businesses to such an extent it looks More like november than july. Photo by Koelsch tourists have taken to our town higher rates gain acceptance Public reaction to the City a higher water and sewer rates has been less violent than expected but some customers Are not taking the increase lying Down. Norma Bradford and Betty Fetters who work in the water department at City Hall said Only a few have come in to complain about a seemingly incorrect water Bill and most have been Good natured about it. T but Fetters quipped a about 18 people have said they Are going to dig their own Venice instituted drastically higher water and sewer rates effective june 1, and the effect has been that some Bills have More than doubled. Hardest hit Are the big users and the condominiums because of the Way the new rate Structure is set up. A some were in Shock Quot Bradford said a and a few who have called on the phone have been very irate. Surprisingly some of the biggest complaints have come not from the new rates but the increased deposits which Are now required from new customers. Those have risen from $15 to $100, also effective june 1. Bradford laughed that when some of the customers Learned of the new Deposit charges a we had to apply first Many residents do not understand the new Billing system or the rate Structure Bradford explained and this has led to some confusion. Some of the customers who Are getting the biggest Bills Are the ones who use a lot of water for watering lawns and filling swimming pools. Under the old rate Structure there was a maximum charge for sewer services on the Assumption that a great Deal of the water used would not be returned to the system for sewer processing. But the new rates do not work this Way. They Are based entirely on the amount of water used and regardless of How much is used for watering lawns the sewer charges apply for All of it. Bradford gave an example of a customer who consumes 26,000 Gallons of water and who used to have a Bill of $34. Under the new system the customer pays $64 for the same services. Some condominium own ers also Are confused because their Bills have increased so much. The main reason for this is that they Are now having to pay a monthly demand charge for each unit regardless of whether there is anyone living there at the time. Under the old rate system there were no demand charges. An example of such an increase can be seen at one condominium where consumption dropped 15 percent but the Bill increased 61 percent Over the previous month. Actually the rates Are simple and can be figured by the individual customers if they feel a mistake has been made. All Homes on three Quarter Inch meters most single family residences pay $2.52 in demand charges and $2.25 for each 1,000 Gallons of water consumed. This includes the sewer charge and there is no maximum. Some customers will not feel the full effect of the rates until continued on Page 3 by Sheri Bridges Sun coast gondolier staff writer year round area residents have grown accustomed to the tide of visitor traffic that flows into the county every Winter and out again in the Spring. But this year it seems the tide has ebbed and the snowbirds have forgotten to Fly Back Home. Highways that were bumper to bumper with traffic during the visitor season Are still nearly As congested As they were three months ago. Driving the stretch of Road from Venice to Sarasota is the same creep and crawl affair it was when the tourists motored slowly along their necks curiously craned out windows to Ogle every Twig and tree Enro Ute. Patrolman Walter Willis of the Venice police department Isnit surprised by the usual traffic. A a in be been noticing it Over the last two years. Id say the number of people moving South has increased 40 to 50 percent during that time. Notice the License tags a a lot of these people Are from Florida a he commented. The Busy a a slow season has been noticed off the highways too. Dennis Frushone executive director of the Venice area chamber of Commerce vac said things in his office Are busier than during past Summers. A there Are More people Here than usual a he noted. Eighty percent of those who come in Are interested in buying Homes and the indication is because of the Energy situation up North. A a they re thinking of last Winter and done to want to face another one like it. So they say a hey lets get out of Here now. Why wait another year for retirement a Jim Dunley of Dunley realty agrees with Frushone. A there seems to be More people Here than usual during a summer. Real estate sales show it. Things have been much much better than in past years a he said. Not Only Are sales higher this off season than in the past continued on Page 3 form brings lightning fires rain by Tony Briggs Sun coast gondolier news editor lightning generated by a fast moving thunderstorm set 10 Brush fires from Nokomis to Osprey monday night and caused some momentary Power outages but inflicted no major damage. More than an Inch of rain falling in less than an hour came with the thunderstorm flooding streets in Venice and leaving water standing in Yards for the first time this summer. There also were reports of Small amounts of Hail accompanying the storm and Gusty winds in excess of 25 Miles per hour. South Venice seemed to Bear the Brunt of the storm with seven fires caused by lightning going at the same time. Five units and ten men were dispatched to fight the blazes which were brought under control about 11 20 . A South Venice area Volunteer fire department spokesman said All were Brush fires but he could not estimate the total amount of acreage which was blackened. Lightning kept the Nokomis fire department Busy too starting three Brush fires near Oscar Scherer state Park. Dispatcher Harold Willett said it took three trucks and 14 men More than four hours to bring those blazes under control. The Venice fire depart ment reported three lightning strikes in the City but there were deadline passes for sewer hookups no fires or other damage caused by the storm. Florida Power amp Light up amp which is usually kept the busiest during a violent storm got off fairly Light this time with Only a few lines Down and no Long term outages. Ike Roberts acting supervisor of consumer services for up amp los Venice office said a falling tree and a wind blown television continued on Page 3 weather City mounts anti Union push the City Council tuesday authorized an All out drive to convince All City employees not to join the Union on the advice of City manager Dale Rieth. A i would like the Council to take whatever Means necessary to conduct an All out Campaign to have City employees not choose an outside organization to represent them a Rieth said. The Union has scheduled an election in the police department next month the first of the employees who will have a Chance to choose Between City and Union leadership. The City manager stressed that the City would be much better off a to not have unionism among our City councilman John Vickers agreed saying a i would like to Back our City manager 100 percent and give him whatever tools he needs to do the mayor Harry Case and councilman Eugene Caffrey agreed to take Steps to Stop the Union. Residents who live in Venice and the unincorporated enclaves within the City and who Are within 100 feet of an existing sanitary sewer will soon be Given their final notice to connect or face possible Legal action. Jeff Ragan director of environmental health with the Sarasota county health department said tuesday that a list of those residents is currently being compiled by City officials and when it is completed the notification letters will be sent. State health regulations require All residents living within 100 feet of a sewer line to abandon their septic tank and connect to the sewer within 90 Days of notification. More than 500 local residents got notices last april ordering them to connect to City sewers but due to a communications foul up most of the letters were sent to the wrong people. Sewer service was not available to most of the property owners. Despite the Early foul up Ragan said he plans to continue to press the residents to whom the Law does apply to Hook up or face Legal action. A great Deal of what happens however will depend on the advice Ragan gets from the county attorney. Ragan said the attorney will be consulted to determine what course of action if any should be taken against those who refuse to abide by the Law. A i would have to take his professional advice a Ragan said. The Law forcing residents on septic tanks to connect to sanitary sewers seems simple but in the Case of Venice things Are a Little More complicated. The problem the county is going to have to face along with the affected residents is that the City requires All those who connect to City sewers to Annex first. This continued on Page 3 High Low rain july 7 90 72 .75 july 8 88 73 .01 july 9 89 71 .13 july 10 89 72 .00 july 11 91 71 .00 july 12 95 62 1.01 july 13 91 72 .07 rain for the week 1.97 rain for the month 2.87 rain for the year 13.41 temperatures and rainfall Are recorded at 8 a m daily on the dates shown for the preceding dates shown for 24 hour period Venice May have trouble with plan j by Sheri Bridges Sun coast gondolier staff writer without assistance the City of Venice will have a a very difficult time compiling the state mandated Long Range comprehensive plan by the deadline the county a chief Long Range planner said tuesday. Talking with the Sun coast gondolier Jan Ollry said the data and information already gathered by the City is incomplete and could Only be used As a rough base for formulating the Complex plan required by the state before july 1979. His statement reiterated the earlier sentiment of county planning director Doug James when he told the Venice planning Board last month that the City would be better off chucking its current plan and starting from scratch on a new one. At that time James told the shocked Board that his department would offer no assistance in compiling another document because of a shortage of manpower. However county commission chairman William Muirhead later said the commission will see about providing planning Aid to the City for work on the document. Ollry explained that formulating the comprehensive plan is an extremely Complex undertaking that involves compiling information on such specified areas As land use transportation Public expend continued on Page 3

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