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Sun Coast Gondolier Newspaper Archives Jun 23 1977, Page 1

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Sun Coast Gondolier (Newspaper) - June 23, 1977, Venice, FloridaSun coast gondolier the Volee of the South county a vol. 33, no. 47 32 pages second class postage paid at Venice Florida 33595, Telephone 813 488-2246 thursday june 23, 1977 published twice weekly a Price 10c slow Day at the polls a a poll worker at precinct 45 checks the name of a voter during tuesday s referendum election while an empty voting machine Waits in the background. Most polling spots rarely had More than one or two voters at the same time throughout the Day. A Little Over 1,000 voters turned out in the referendum. Photo by Briggs changes predicted new Venice approved by Airport resigning Airport manager Russell Graham foresees major future developments at the Venice Airport even if the City Council decides not to continue with a manager there and predicted that Many of the changes would take place within the next 20 years. In an interview with the Sun coast gondolier Graham said that regardless of what the wishes of the Council or anybody else in the area May be the Airport is going to grow and develop just As the City has Over the past 10 to 15 years. A a it a going to grow regardless of what happens a he said. A there is no doubt about Graham who submitted his resignation two weeks ago because of policy conflicts with City Council Over the future of the Airport said he has no hard feelings but added a i was a Little disappointed i was not Able to be As effective As i wanted to most of grahams ideas for changes at the Airport were rejected by the Council. Among the changes Graham said he would like to see at the Airport is the beginning of a Small Industrial Park on the East Side of the facility containing Light no polluting Industry the institution of uniform parking and tie Down the Sarasota county commission on tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance creating a health facilities authority opening the door for county non profit health care organizations to save millions of dollars in issuing tax free Bonds. Establishment of the authority came at the request of Venice Hospital which can now refinance its current $8.3 million indebtedness at a lower interest than the nine i and 10 percent that it is presently paying. Hunter Gibbons attorney for the local Hospital told the commission the lower rate of six and a half or six and three quarters percent will reduce the interest costs which Are borne by the patient in the form of room rates by one third. Venice Hospital administrator Ron Hanson said later that in Plain language the refinancing will mean a savings of $3 per patient Day and a minimum of $3,150,000 Over the 26-year bonding period. 1 Hanson noted that although the savings will not result in a room rate decrease it will allow the Hospital to control future in fees and the establishment of equitable lease fees for the fixed base operators at the Airport. He said the changes would not Only generate More Revenue for the Airport but would have the Long Range effect of providing More jobs and pumping More Money into the local Economy. Graham also pointed out that if the Airport were promoted like most other air facilities extra tourist dollars would come to Venice from air travellers. Graham estimated that the average person coming to Venice by air spends around $25 a Day for food lodging and other expenses. The Money spent by these travellers during the past tourist season has a had a considerable Impact on the local Economy a Graham said adding that if the Airport were to be promoted and developed it would amount to even More dollars. He explained that most people done to realize what an asset the Airport is for the Community and predicted that in the future the facility May become even More important because of the fuel shortage. With the Energy crisis already beginning to hit most americans in the pocketbook the former Airport manager said he believes future creases. In addition future expansion and construction which probably would have been scuttled in Light of president Jimmy Carters proposed program to put a Cork on rising Hospital costs can now be planned for. State Law provides for the establishment of a health facilities authority which in turn allows non profit health care groups to Issue tax free Bonds. These Bonds Are not Only attractive to investors because of their tax exempt status but Are also beneficial to the health facilities because of the lower interest rates involved. The county commission will serve As the governing body of the authority but will soon appoint an advisory Board to Deal with Day to Day operations. In other action the commission a approved an ordinance creating an Englewood tax lighting District. Although the District was actually established in 1968 under the population act the state legislature later repealed that enabling ordinance. However the District continued to collect revenues and Jake improvements and the continued on Page 4 mass transit May be by air. A a Airbus systems Are already in operation in some parts of the state he explained and he predicted that by the year 2000 such a service May be available at the Venice Airport. Graham said there should at least be Small Carrier air service from the Airport in the near future because it is called for in the Florida Airport systems plan. The plan drawn up by the state determines what functions each Florida Airport will serve in the state Airport network and is part of a larger Federal plan. He said the plan does not Call for Venice to Ever handle Large air carriers such As now land at the Sarasota Bradenton Airport. In the near future Graham continued on Page 4 construction on Englewood elementary school will face a four to seven month delay As a result of a communication breakdown Between the Sarasota county school Board and its facilities department. Board members Learned tuesday night that their decision to rescind approval of a contract for the proposed project will postpone construction for at least four months. Although Board members two weeks ago awarded the contract for the work to Low bidder w. B. Mills inc., they were concerned that the construction costs were $500,000 More than the final estimate submitted to the state education department. An emergency meeting was called Friday evening to further discuss the matter and by unanimous vote the decision to award the inflated contract was rescinded and the architects were asked to submit new plans within the original budget. The final estimate on the project which Calls for the removal of several existing structures building of new facilities and renovation of various classroom areas was $1.6 million. However the bid submitted by Mills was $2.1 million a Cost overrun greater than the 10 percent normally allowed for. Ramaeker and Parris architects for the project attributed the additional costs to estimating errors and said if asked to estimate the construction costs now the figure would be set at $1.8 million. The news of the expanded Price came As a Surprise to Board members who questioned the by Tony Briggs gondolier news editor the proposed revised charter that was almost a year in the making was overwhelmingly approved by Venice voters tuesday despite some last minute criticisms by former mayor William Mccracken. Although voter turnout was a disappointing 14 percent the margin of Victory for the new charter was More than four to one with the final tally being 857 in favor 190 against. The new charter will replace the 52-year-old document which has ruled the City since its formation in 1925 and which has been termed by some City officials badly outdated and legally unwieldy. City clerk Steve Albee said tuesday that Venice residents Arentt Likely to notice any major changes until the december City elections when the City councils size increases to seven members. The current four Man Council with the mayor will continue to run the City until that time under the transitional phrasing in the charter. One minor change which will take place will be that the mayor becomes a voting member of the Council and chairman beginning in july Albee said. Under the old charter the mayor had no vote except in a tie. Councilman b. H. A a Berry Walker who was chairman of the charter review Board and a primary motivator behind the document said he was a a delighted when he heard voters had approved the charter. Architects and the facilities department Why they had not been informed of the increased costs. Robert j. Keefer director of operations answered that the Board had been aware of the step by step planning of the project and was Given the Opportunity to inspect the drawings. But Board chairman the Rev. For once Englewood area residents will know what its like to be on the winning Side of a Battle with the legislature. Englewood will have a High school commissioner of education Ralph Turlington said monday. A there is no Way they can lose the funding for the school a Turlington assured. R weather High Low rain june 16 88 70 .00 june 17 89 71 .00 june 18 95 70 .00 june 19 89 71 .00 june 20 90 74 .00 june 22 90 75 to june 22 90 72 .00 rain for the week. To. Rain for the month 2.86 1 rain for the year. 10.54 s 1 temperatures and rainfall Are 1 recorded at 8 a m daily on the 1 i dates shown for the preceding 1 1 24-hour period i to a a it a wonderful a Walker commented. A i think its a great Day for he indicated he was disappointed that the voter turnout was so Low but blamed it on the time of apathetic would be the Best word to describe the voters of Venice in tuesdays charter referendum election with less than 14 percent of those registered bothering to turn out at the polls. But the Low voter turnout did not really Surprise anyone. On the contrary most City elections have been notorious for drawing an alarmingly Small number of the electorate to the polls. Some Long time venetians even see the apathy As a Good sign that the voters Are not mad about what is on the ballot and that it has a Good Chance of being approved. That certainly has been borne out this time since the charter was approved overwhelmingly. As in most local elections All three City polls remained almost deserted throughout the Day tuesday with Only an occasional voter to interrupt the Calm. Many of the poll workers passed the time by Reading a Book or reminiscing about How crowded it was during last november a David Olson said a Price tag had never been mentioned and noted that modifications could have been made to the plans if the Board had known about the increased costs. The boards request for new drawings will mean at least three months of planning and another month for bid advertising and will put the target Date for construction completion Midway in the 1978-79 school year. Funding for the school project appears in two places on the proposed budget to be presented to governor Reubin Askew for approval. The budget proposal finally agreed upon by a joint Senate House conference committee before the legislature adjourned Friday provides 100 percent financing for the $3.75 million project under item d. Item c carries the original House recommendation also proposed by Turlington that a total of $757,000 be granted outright for the school but the remaining $3 million would be paid Back by the counties involved Over a period of several years. There will be a High school in the Englewood area Turlington again emphasized but How it will be funded will depend upon the governor. Governor Askew has committed himself to the project and it will be up to him whether he goes ahead with the full funding. Turlington is against giving the total amount in a Lump sum charter voters year when Many of Venice a Winter residents have returned North. Walker also blasted former mayor Mccrackens Day before the election criticisms of the continued on Page 4 a a presidential election. At that time Waits of up to two hours were not uncommon. One pol worker in precinct 21 even joked that it was so quiet at one Point in the morning that he was hoping a drunk would wander in and sing a song. Another in precinct 45 remembered her Days As a pol worker in Chicago under the late mayor Richard Daley. The attitude of the voters who did turn out for the referendum varied from Stern to lackadaisical some spent up to five minutes in the voting Booth obviously Reading every word of the ballot while others walked in pushed a Levei and were gone within a few seconds. Several complained they were confused by the ballot and weren�?T1 sure what they were voting for. Others just said a i saw the a for lever pushed it and All in All it was a fairly typical City summer election if cite summer elections Are typical Anc most seemed pleased at the outcome. In another Light or. Henry Heusner associate superintendent for instruction warned his colleagues their insistence that the new plans provide for Only $1.6 million in construction costs May mean a sacrifice of a Quality Quantity or but the Board held fast to the Contention that $1.6 million is All that can be devoted to the project. Because it comes out of $66.9 million which is appropriated for All 65 counties in the state. This week Turlington said he must face the superintendents of schools from All 65 counties at a session in Orlando who will be asking a a Why $3.75 million for Englewood is to come out of the total funds. The commissioner said a my reply will be that it was not my he said it amounted to horse trading by the senators for an unnecessary $5 million continuing education Center at Florida state University that resulted in the full funding for the Englewood school. Turlington called the proposed flu project a a convention Center to Host state employees and he said it was not on his list of needed facilities. Meanwhile Back in Englewood de Lisle head of the local committee which has been seeking the High school for Many years said his group has contacted continued on Page 4health facilities authority approved by commission work delay for e Wood elementary Englewood on winning Side by Dorothy Lippstreuer gondolier staff writer a. But Small turnout disappoints some officials

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