Lloyd Bridges starred as SCUBA diver Mike Nelson in the weekly television series, "Sea Hunt." It was on WJKS TV-17 on Monday night this week in 1967.

50 years ago: Arlington residents protest $1 increase in monthly sewer charge

Mar. 13, 2017

Some residents of an Arlington subdivision, upset over a proposed $1 increase in their monthly sewer charge, were told the Board of County Commissioners had no jurisdiction to intervene on their behalf.

Attorney Richard Sanborn went to a board meeting with a petition he said had the names of 260 residents of Fort Caroline Club Estates, who were protesting the rate hike announced by Peninsular Construction Co.

The petition asked the board to require the company to submit evidence at an open hearing to justify the increase — or rescind it.

Assistant County Attorney Thomas Oakley advised Sanborn the board had no power to regulate rates charged by privately owned sewer companies serving subdivisions in unincorporated areas.

Commissioner Bob Harris, a resident of the subdivision, told Sanborn he, too, was powerless to do anything about the extra $1 a month he’d have to pay.

But, Harris added, the board would ask the Duval County Legislative Delegation to pass a bill granting the board authority to regulate sewer service and charges in the suburbs.

The increase would hike Peninsular’s charge from $2.50 to $3.50 per month or from $7.50 to $10.50 for customers who were billed quarterly.

Sanborn said the company had shown no evidence of need for the increase and it was being done solely to improve profit, not for any capital improvements.

Fred Rice, Peninsular’s attorney, took issue with Sanborn. He said the company had experienced since 1961 a net operating loss of more than $10,000 on its sewage operation.

“So it’s not a profit-making deal. Economic necessity dictates, not suggests, these increased rates,” Rice said.

• Despite three-putting the final hole, Dan Sikes Jr. hung on through the  pressure of leading from start to finish and won by a single stroke the $100,000  third annual Greater Jacksonville Open at The Deerwood Club.

Sikes carded a 73 in the final round for a total of 279, nine under par. His first-place check was for $20,000.

It was the local attorney and golf pro’s third title in his career, after winning the 1963 Doral Open and the 1965 Cleveland Open.

One stroke behind with a final-round 67 was Bill Collins from Purchase, N.Y., who took home a check for $12,000.

• Mismanagement of an investigation into the disappearance of $800 from the Detective Division of the Sheriff’s Office led to the resignation of a lieutenant, according to Chief of Detectives J.R. Hamlin.

An 11-year veteran of the force, Richard Flemming, submitted his resignation to Sheriff Dale Carson.

Flemming had been in charge of the investigation into the disappearance of money taken from another officer’s locker and committed “serious errors of judgment,” Hamlin said.

The cash was evidence in a grand larceny case that was pending in Circuit Court and went missing Feb. 27. The investigation began immediately and $700 mysteriously reappeared in the officer’s locker.

No signs of forced entry were visible on either occasion, but a clear palm print was found on the money and personnel in the division were ordered to have their palms printed.

Hamlin said comparison of the prints was negative, so polygraph tests were given to members of the department.

He refused to elaborate, saying the incident was an internal security problem he was “not at liberty to discuss further.”

• A plan was implemented to make the Jacksonville Zoo more accessible to seniors as well as younger people.

The roadways inside the zoo had been closed as a safety measure for the children who went there, but preventing vehicles from driving through the zoo grounds also prevented older people unable to walk, or others confined to wheelchairs, from getting the full benefit of the zoo by seeing many of the attractions from their cars.

County Commissioner George Carrison announced a new service designed for people who couldn’t get around well on their own.

Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a hostess would be on duty to drive those visitors through the zoo in a four-passenger motorized cart.

• Lee High School athletes and cheerleaders were honored by the Northeast Florida Heart Association at an awards banquet at the Town House Restaurant.

Coach Leon Barrett and Steve Saunders, a student who headed Lee’s activities in the “Athletes Fight with Heart” campaign, were presented a citation acknowledging the school’s leadership in the fundraising drive.

Lee won the award for $851 in donations collected by about 200 of its students. It was the most obtained by any of the 10 schools that contributed to the campaign receipts of $2,775.

Clayton Pickels, fundraising chairman for the association, said the money collected by Lee’s students was more than was raised in the first high school solicitation in 1965, when slightly more than $500 was donated.

• Jacksonville’s air quality suited most people about 65 percent of the time, but it was particulate matter — soot — they didn’t like any time.

That was the conclusion made by Randolph Specht, director of the Duval Air Improvement Authority.

He said the air was dirty, but not from sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide, levels for which were well below the recommended maximums.

Specht also said the effect of air pollution on people was not known, but work in that area was underway.

A three-year, $1.6 million project using rats and monkeys to determine the effects of chronic and acute exposure to various combinations of air pollutants was being conducted by the American Petroleum Institute.

On the soot issue, he said officials at Jacksonville Shipyards had agreed to fire up boilers and blow out stacks only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere was adequate 95 percent of the time.

• The Rev. Bertram Herlong, canon of St. John’s Cathedral, was appointed chaplain of the new Jacksonville Episcopal High School, ranking just under the headmaster.

He would assume his duties May 1, said Robert Parks, chairman of the board of trustees.

The school would hold its first classes in September — initially for seventh, eighth and ninth grades. A grade would be added each year until the first class graduated in 1970, when enrollment was expected to reach a 1,000-student capacity.

• In what was described as a “quiet and dignified occasion,” J. Bruce Wilson was inaugurated as the first president of Florida Junior College at Jacksonville.

He was installed one year after he began building the college from the ground up.

J. Wayne Reitz, president of the University of Florida, called the state’s junior colleges “a savings bank of knowledge on which the community may draw in its pursuit of the well-being of its citizens and its civic life.”

He said an institution like FJC was of “almost inestimable value in the contribution which it makes to the community’s intellectual capital.”

In his acceptance speech, Wilson said with the continuing support of the many people responsible for the college’s initial success, it would move forward toward greatness.

• After 144 years, Jacksonville was getting a painting of the man for whom the city was named.

In 1960, members of the Jacksonville Historical Society decided a top-notch portrait of Andrew Jackson, described as a “crusty early American who left indelible imprints on Florida’s history,” should be added to the public art collection.

They commissioned an internationally known artist who lived in Orange Park, J. Courtenay Hunt, to paint a commanding life-size portrait of the city’s namesake.

Work on the 6-foot-tall canvas was overseen by O.Z. Tyler, society president, and Phillip May, a member of the portrait committee.

It was unveiled at City Hall by Mayor Lou Ritter on what would have been Jackson’s 200th birthday.