published: Friday, November 30, 2012
FROM THE FILES | 27 years ago -- 1985
Reliving history through the pages of the South Lake Press
A weekly column that reprints some of the more interesting news stories that have appeared over the years in the South Lake Press.
Officials from 3 counties talk about road projects, needs
In 1985, as Clermont's representative on the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, I attended a joint meeting of the Orange/Osceola/Seminole Metropolitan Planning Agency, East-West Expressway Authority and Florida Turnpike Authority to discuss automobile, larger bus transit and light rail.
What the committee seemed to be deciding was what was financially feasible and what the needs were with no financing available at the moment. (Very similar to what was presented by the newly formed Lake/Sumter MPO at an all-day forum Aug. 19, 2005, at Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg.)
In 1985, a good estimate of the road money needed to make some projects financially feasible was available. Between 1991 and 2005, the three counties were anticipated to receive the following funds from state and local money and the two-cent gas tax -- Orange County, $148,235 million; Osceola County, $24,700 million; and Seminole County, $48,900 million.
A DOT representative said that after all this money was spent, the area would achieve the same level of service as it had in 1985. This money did not include impact or other developer fees for roads or additional gas tax money the respective counties might pass.
A four-lane beltway was shown around the Orlando area with the farthest reaches going into both Seminole and Osceola counties. A new interchange was on the financially feasible list. This road was from the Bee Line Expressway going north on 436 to Semoran Boulevard, across Maitland Boulevard, then south along the Orange Avenue area to Michigan.
The committee agreed on the assumption that all toll road projects from 1985 are considered funded by revenues other than the estimates from road users revenue.
A representative from Ocoee objected that West Orange County's needs were not being addressed. He was advised that some money was available for that area before the year 1991.
A representative of Winter Park also said that to preserve the quality of life in Winter Park, the city council had voted that no roads, such as Fairbanks and Park Avenue, would be widened. They are now at service level "E," with "F" being the worst.
It was acknowledged there was a poor level of service (1985) from Mills to Goldenrod Roads on Colonial Drive, even with eight lanes, and that probably widening it to 10 lanes would not alleviate the problem.
The light-rail system proposed was from Disney to International Drive to Kissimmee and up to the Lake Mary interchange. Cost of this system, in total, with its infrastructure support system of buses to get to the rail system, parking lots, drivers, etc., was estimated to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.
The representative from Orange County said there is a good possibility that Orange County will come up with the money for the first phase from Disney to International Drive.
-- A retirement reception was held for James L. Wyche, attendance officer of Lake County Schools and formerly the principal of Edgewood Elementary School in Groveland. Music was by Zell Dean Mitchell and Johnny Griffin, with Rufus Sullivan presiding. Invocation was given by the Rev. W.N. McKinney; welcome by Willia Mae Thomas; reflections, past and present, Gaye Sipe, City of Groveland, and Freddie G. Garner of Groveland, superintendent of Lake County Schools.
-- Clermont High School Athletic Director Vern Eppinette will remain in Clermont and not go to Osceola County's new Gateway High School. He also remains as head track coach and social studies teacher. Head football coach Steve Brown is moving to Gateway.
In his stead, former Clermont coach and physical education teacher Bruce Kregloe returns to CHS. After graduating from college, Kregloe began his CHS career in 1972-73 as P.E. teacher and assistant junior varsity football, assistant junior varsity baseball and assistant varsity baseball coach. In 1973, he was called to active Army duty at Fort Dix. When he returned to the area the second semester of that school year, it was as the physical education coach at Mascotte Elementary School. Until 1978, he taught at Mascotte but was head J.V. basketball and head J.V. football coach at CHS.
In 1978 he returned to Clermont High as a full-time teacher and was also assistant varsity football coach and head varsity baseball coach until 1981, when he went to Crystal River High School to teach physical education and coach with former Clermont resident Tom Hybl.
-- Groveland First Baptist Church presented prizes to fathers Mike Metz, youngest father present, age 38, with his daughter, Missy; Jim Hanks, most children present with four, daughters Diane, Julie and Nancy and son, David; and James Cagle, oldest father present, age 86.
-- Prices at Publix: sirloin tip roast, $2.17 per pound; round steak, $1.37 per pound; Busch Beer, 12-ounce cans, 24-pack, $6.58; Gerber baby food, five 4.5-ounce jars, $1; Crisco shortening, 3-pound can, $2.19 (limit one with other purchases of $7.50 or more, excluding all tobacco products); large eggs, 19 cents per dozen; Hunt's tomato ketchup, 14-ounce bottle, 19 cents; and Publix milk, $1.99 gallon.