The Brazil Common Council passed three ordinances on the first reading Tuesday night fixing the salaries of city employees. All city employees, including the police and firefighters, but not elected officials, will get a 4 percent raise in 2005.
In addition, the Council passed an ordinance that will allow the planning and zoning administrator, currently Michele Driscoll, to send letters to those in violation of city codes without the clerk-treasurer's signature. City Attorney Joe Trout said they are still looking into the legalities of giving the administrator the power to write tickets with associated fines.
Mayor Tom Arthur said that in Terre Haute, there are six or seven people on staff whose only "police power" is to write tickets for such violations.
Driscoll reported that she had attended a seminar in Indianapolis this week and gained some valuable information. It was suggested at the seminar that a city should update its master plan every 10 years, or at least every 20. Driscoll said Brazil's was last done in 1962, so that is something the planning commission needs to work on "right away."
She also informed the Council that four interviews have been set up for today with potential candidates for the building inspector position, in lieu of John Ray's recent resignation.
Police Chief Mark Loudermilk announced that the situation at Meridian Elementary is "pretty much all taken care of". Detective Marty Beasley has charged "several people" for the vandalism and theft that took place at the school a few weeks ago.
Loudermilk and Capt. Andy Whittington plan to meet with some Central West Village residents who are interested in starting up a "Neighborhood Watch". Loudermilk said they are going to do what they can to help and advise the concerned citizens. Arthur discussed the idea of changing the city's trash pick-up so that people are charged per bag or only allowed to put out a certain number of bags. Council members Pat Heffner and Jim Sheese volunteered to serve on a committee to research this possibility.
Also, Arthur mentioned the possibility of starting city pick-up of recyclable materials. Jamax currently gets all money from curbside recyclable pick-up. Another community, Arthur said, has made $16,000 in the past six months. After grants with IDEM and the Solid Waste District, the cost will be "very minimal if any at all" to get started.
Fire contracts for 2005 were passed on the first reading during the Board of Works and Safety meeting. The Brazil Fire Department will receive $10,000, $6,000 of which will be used to buy equipment.
The Board also approved a pigeon control invoice for $750. This has been done for at least 10 years in order to keep the number of pigeons down in the city.