SANFORD: City Council postpones HAVEN discussion

Sep. 18, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

After more than an hour in closed session, the Sanford City Council tabled a discussion to provide financial assistance to HAVEN, Lee County's sole group wholly dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence, Tuesday night.

Council members did not discuss the closed session, but decided, via motion made by Councilman Charles Taylor, to reexamine the issue next week during its Law and Finance Committee meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 25.

HAVEN, which stands for Helping Abuse and Violence End Now, closed its doors and ceased virtually every one of its services in mid-August after a "perfect storm" of financial and managerial problems, according to its board of directors Chairwoman Carol Carlson. Leaders of the organization were attempting to raise $30,000 in the coming weeks to reopen the 29-bed shelter, according to a news statement released last week. Susan King, who served as HAVEN's executive director from 1998-2004, was also named the interim executive director, according to the release.

The council also voted to move $10,000 from the city's fund balance to pay for a study to determine the potential use of property and structure formerly owned by Liberty Commons Nursing, located on Westover Drive. The property owners have expressed interest in gifting the property to the city, but no other information was available during the meeting.

In other matters, Council:

* Held a public hearing on whether to annex 2.96 acres, located on McDonald Drive, owned by Solus Industrial Innovations. Steve Malloy, of Adcock and Associates, spoke in favor of the annexation and no one spoke against it. The council voted unanimously to extend the city limits to include the property.

* Appointed Daniel Owens to the Appearance Committee.