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Jax Daily Record Monday, Sep. 29, 201412:00 PM EST

50 years ago: City Council committee ponders record-setting $102.7M budget

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by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The City Council Budget and Finance Committee began evaluating the proposed $102.7 million, record-breaking 1965 Jacksonville budget with air pollution control funds being the major topic of discussion.

City Health and Sanitation Commissioner Claude Smith Jr. called air pollution the city’s No. 1 health problem and urged the committee to support a $100,000 appropriation request to begin a control program.

The money would be part of a $150,000 project to pinpoint amounts and sources of pollution and to recommend controls.

The project would lead to the establishment of the Duval County Air Pollution Control Commission.

Also on the list of requests related to air pollution was a $60,000 capital improvement item for construction of fly ash control equipment at the two remaining city garbage incinerators.

While air pollution dominated the first day’s discussion, it was noted that much attention was being given to the “unspoken problem” facing the committee — how to meet the city’s needs without new taxes or with as few new taxes as possible.

The City Commission, noting it recognized the council’s dilemma over raising the money, asked for $10 million more for 1965 than the $91.8 million requested for 1964.

In addition, city employees were asking for $1.5 million in across-the-board pay raises, an item not listed in the budget sent to the council by the commission, but which was subject to

further negotiation between employee union groups and the commissioners and council members.

It was speculated the council might have to increase ad valorem taxes, come up with some new tax or raise utility taxes to balance the budget in 1965.

• The Federal Aviation Agency announced the first operational semi-automated air traffic control system in the U.S would be installed at the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Hilliard.

Agency Administrator Najeeb Halaby said it would be the first such center capable of handling the demands of the supersonic era.

Experience gained at Hilliard would determine the best methods for including automation into other agency facilities and would provide information as to the best use of the system through refinements in operating procedures, he said.

Contracts totaling $7.2 million already had been awarded for the system. The awards went to IBM, $2.9 million; Burroughs Corp., $2.6 million; and Raytheon Co., $1.7 million.

IBM would install a central computer complex that would be the heart of the system. It would prepare and distribute flight plan information to various control positions as well as calculate aircraft flight times over predetermined geographical locations.

A digitizer system would be installed by Burroughs. It was designed to translate radar information from all aircraft into digital messages acceptable by the central computer. It also would display weather information received by radar.

Raytheon would be responsible for setting up a radar display unit that could be viewed in virtually all light conditions.

• Duval County Dog Warden Theron Baldwyn warned parents that students had to leave their dogs at home when they went to school.

“It’s not that I have anything against pets,” he said, “But we’ve been having too many complaints about dogs accompanying their owners to school. These dogs are jumping on the children, knocking them down or soiling their clothes, stealing lunches and making a general nuisance of themselves.”

Baldwyn said that besides being a nuisance and subject to impoundment, dogs on the school grounds created a serious public health risk – the possibility of rabies.

The County Health Department reported that 1,080 people had been bitten by dogs since Jan. 1. More than 75 percent of the victims were children.

“Children are naturally attracted to dogs,” said Baldwyn. “Little children especially like to pull ears and tails, which often leads to them being bitten and a dog bite presents the possibility of a child contracting rabies.”

Animal registration and vaccination laws went into effect in January, requiring for the first time that all dogs and cats in Duval County be vaccinated against rabies and registered annually by a licensed veterinarian. The cost was $4, with $1 being used to defray the expenses of the county pounds and administration of the law. Violation of the law was a misdemeanor.

• Anyone who needed a dummy Mercury space capsule, a rocket launcher assembly or radar and sonar equipment would have the opportunity to bid on such items Oct. 13 at a surplus sale conducted by the Jacksonville Defense Surplus Sales Office.

E.T. Forrest, chief of the office, said space, aircraft and communications equipment would be on display Monday-Friday at 11 military installations in Alabama and Florida, including Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

Forrest said that as each item was offered at a spot bid sale, each prospective buyer would be given a chance to submit one written bid on the item.

• Jacob F. Bryan III, president and chairman of the board of Independent Life and Accident Insurance Co., was elected chairman of the Health Facilities Planning Council of the Jacksonville Area Inc.

He succeeded B.D. Fincannon, who was elected treasurer. Crawford Solomon was chosen cochairman and H.A. Schroder, secretary.

Solomon, who was chairman of the Screening Committee, said that during the past year the council had approved renovation of facilities at Hope Haven Hospital and a total of 777 beds at four other hospitals.

The hospitals and the number of beds they would get were Baptist Memorial, 192; Riverside, 85; St. Luke’s, 40; and Duval Medical Center, 460.

• Two Duval County detectives lifted a 1961 four-door Chrysler to free an Arlington resident whose hand was caught between a fender and a tire.

Tom Sharkey of 8020 India Ave. was released after emergency treatment at St. Vincent’s Hospital for injuries to his left hand.

Sgts. Fred Petty and Walter Bechem were in a detective cruiser at India and Arlington Road when they heard a woman shouting for help.

They found Sharkey struggling to free his hand. The detectives grabbed the bumper of the auto and lifted, freeing the man’s hand. Sharkey had been changing a tire when the jack slipped.

• Criminal Court Judge Hans G. Tanzler Jr. handed two brothers prison terms, one for 10 years and the other for seven, for kidnapping two teenage girls.

James Wilkes, 25, received the 10-year sentence because he had a prior record, Tanzler said. He gave Ralph Wilkes, 25, a seven-year term in state prison.

Each also had been charged with assault with attempt to rape the girls and aggravated assault with a pistol.

The trial was to have included the aggravated assault charges but the prosecutor, Assistant County Solicitor Donald Nichols, moved for a directed verdict of not guilty on those counts. It was granted because the pistol crime occurred in St. Johns County rather than Duval County.

Testimony brought out by Nichols showed the brothers, while posing as deputies making arrests, accosted the girls and their two teenage male escorts in Palm Valley at 9 p.m. Aug. 9. They forced the girls to accompany them to a cabin at an abandoned fish camp in the Julington Creek area.

The girls, however, ran away into the woods.

The brothers testified they had nothing to do with the incident.

After the jury deliberated just 15 minutes and returned the guilty verdict, Nichols put the assault to rape charges on the court’s inactive docket.

• Ideas for promotion of activities for the fall and Christmas seasons were proposed and discussed at a board meeting of the Downtown Council of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.

It was noted at the meeting that City Council had voted to finance additional Christmas decorations for Hemming Park, including revamping a 30-foot musical tree, enlarging the nativity scene and adding lighted decorations for entrances to the park.

Cost of the decorations to the city was estimated at $6,000.

Jay Cason, chairman of the council’s Promotion and Development Committee said the semi-annual sales campaign in Downtown stores known as “Jacksonville Days” was scheduled Nov. 5-7. For the first time, some businesses in outlying areas of the city and county also would participate, he said.

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