Any hopes of getting a city court in Brazil were dashed during Tuesday's City Council meeting. The Council allowed the ordinance that would have created the court die without a motion to approve.
Eric Wyndham, city attorney, said a city court would cause a heavier than usual workload on him and his staff requiring more money to be budgeted. Further, he expressed concerns that the city court judge would not have to be an attorney.
Other cities with city courts are removed from the county seat, and those cities indicate the court take at least 3-5 years before they break even, Wyndham said.
Also, Wyndham said that he was concerned that if there were a city court, the officers would become overzealous in ticket writing.
"If I thought it would benefit the town, I would go for it," Wyndham said.
Brazil Chief of Police Terry Harrison responded to Wyndham's comments by saying, "I am disappointed in your lack of faith in our department."
Councilman Tom Arthur asked how much more paperwork would be involved, but there was no answer provided to his question. According to Wyndham, there is no backlog of moving violation citations in the county court.
In other business:
- Mayor Kenny Crabb said that the city might have to set the tax stipulation warrant to the maximum the city could receive if the tax draw was delayed until the end of 2003.
"We might have to cut some personnel to only work three or four days a week, but that might be our only option," Crabb said, talking about the possible lack of city operating funds next year.
The city normally receives two tax draws a year, however the State Board of Accounts is suggesting that there will be only one tax draw next year, and it would be late in the year.
In reaction to the possibility of cutting city employees hours, council members voted unanimously to suspend the council pay beginning in January 2003 and ending in December 2003, after the tax draw is received by the city.
"I have a hard time with laying people off or cutting their work schedule to 3 or 4 days," Arthur said prior to voting on the council pay.
- An ordinance prohibiting parking on the south side of Mechanic Street from Alabama Street east was tabled since not all council members were aware of the situation and had not driven down Mechanic to view the problem.
The problem arises when semis try to travel east on Mechanic to deliver steel to Morris Manufacturing. If vehicles are parked on both sides of the street, semis cannot deliver their load.
Joe Bennett, Brazil Fire Chief, agreed that many streets in Brazil need to have restricted parking since the fire trucks cannot drive down the narrow streets in Brazil if vehicles are parked on both sides of the streets.
Athur indicated there are at least two people living on Mechanic street that do not have off-street parking available such as a driveway or garage.
- Approved for first reading at the meeting was an ordinance that re-zoned property at 1740 W. White Rock Road to open industrial. The 16.5 acres, including a radio station transmitter and tower, was re-zoned so the owners, Brad and Kim Emmert, can erect a 120-foot by 240-foot steel building to house a wall panelization plant. The plant will be used to produce wall panels and special orders. Other buildings at the site will be used for storage of bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy equipment.
Once the building is complete, an estimated four semis a day will be leaving the plant while one semi a week will bring material into the plant.