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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

City Council addresses many issues

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Brazil City Council conducted the following business during its regular session Tuesday evening:

Old Business

- Approved the second reading of Ordinance 4-2005, which amends a portion of the Brazil Code of Ordinances by designating stop streets within Brazil city limits and establishing fines for violators. Section one of the ordinance designates Manatee Street at the intersection with Olive Street a stop street, and section three stipulates motorists failing to stop will be subject to a civil penalty of $12.

New Business

The Council conducted first readings of several ordinances and a resolution, including:

- Ordinance 5-2005, which establishes a fixed asset capitalization policy for Brazil and the city's various departments. Mayor Tom Arthur explained a previous Council agreed to a capital assets policy of $500, with no record of buildings or infrastructure. The new policy also considers depreciation.

"This goes more in depth," he said.

Using ordinances from Salem and Nashville as models, the Mayor said the policy splits infrastructure and addresses repairs and useful life limitations as well as capitalized land. The State Board of Accounts will have a greater understanding of the city's assets, and the policy will serve as a guide for maintaining accurate records. The number of years and dollar amounts specified in the policy are controlled by the Council, Arthur said.

"This explains more than what the '97 did," he said.

- Ordinance 7-2005, which amends a portion of the Brazil Code of Ordinances regarding water service connections in the city's water system. Discussion of the ordinance elicited laughter from the Council and audience as Mayor Arthur explained an error in the previous ordinance indicates that citizens requesting to be hooked to the city's water system would be hooked to the wastewater system. Ordinance 7-2005 corrects the previous ordinance, which increased the tap fee from $300 to $500.

"It's the exact same, but with water instead of sewer line," City Attorney Joe Trout said.

Meanwhile, an audience member questioned the responsibility of property owners and tenants renting properties regarding water fees. Councilman Bill Lovett said that when the new system was installed, the landlord was responsible, but those renting properties to tenants were encouraged to increase the rent cost by $100, for example, to include water costs. The Mayor told the woman he would discuss the issue with her.

The Council voted to suspend the rules that require two readings before an ordinance is passed, and voted to approve the ordinance.

- Resolution 2-2005, to approve the use of utility funds from the Brazil City Water and Sewer Operating Funds for the purpose of an additional change till.

Mayor Arthur said a new part-time employee has been helping in the Water Office. The new employee works 30 hours with no cost to the city, as the person is employed and insured through Experience Works, a senior workforce solutions company. The resolution will allow the city to use $20 to purchase a change till, or cash register drawer, for the new employee. The Council approved and passed the resolution on first reading in order to expedite the purchase.

Brazil Police Department

The take-home car program is progressing, Brazil Police Chief Mark Loudermilk reported to the Council. Of the two vehicles recently purchased, one is completely finished and on the road. Three cars are being signed out for take-home use. The second vehicle will soon be available as well.

Meanwhile, Loudermilk said the department is looking for alternate sources of funding to finance the purchase of equipment and other necessities.

Brazil Fire Department

Northview High School student Tyler Maybaugh spent the day with the department through the school's job shadowing program. He was able to take part in a minor petroleum-based spill, the day-to-day operations and the in-house training program and drill training.

Assistant Brazil Fire Chief Jake Bennett was responsible for submitting a proposal to the Department of Homeland Security 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grants. Archer praised the efforts of the Assistant Chief, who submitted the grant application in the category of health and fitness. If awarded, the funding will provide the implementation of OSHA-required medical reviews, health protocols and programs for the department. It will also provide adequate exercise equipment covering both strength and cardiovascular training for the membership.

While 25 applications have been obtained by persons interested in the three available firefighter positions, only two have been returned. At a previous meeting, Archer encouraged those interested to apply, regardless of experience level. The application includes numerous pages, and forms will be accepted by the department through April 30. Those interested may pick up an application at the Brazil Fire Department or call 446-7551 for further information.

City Planning and Administration

Brush Up Brazil Day is set for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 30, and City Planning Administrator Michele Driscoll said she is still welcoming volunteers to participate in the program. Volunteers should bring brooms, rakes and gloves to help pull weeds, paint, plant flowers and other improvement activities at Main Street and National Avenue. A breakfast of donuts, coffee and milk will be provided to helpers. Those interested in participating may call City Hall at 443-2221 for further information.

City Engineer Brian Pohlar has provided Driscoll with a map to update zoning changes, and the information will be converted to an electronic format, which can be easily updated, she reported.

City Attorney Joe Trout said he will have the information regarding grass length requirements at the next meeting of the Council. He expressed concern at homeowners who may take advantage of the ordinance.

"Can't we fine them without cutting their grass? Some of these people are just going to let us cut their grass," he said.

The Plan Commission could not conduct its meeting because there wasn't a quorum of members, so the meeting has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 25. The Board will address the need to rezone Deer Run as condominiums. The property recently changed ownership, and it was never properly zoned when originally built, Driscoll said. At the Board of Works meeting on April 28, properties inspected for condemnation will be reviewed by members.

The Council also discussed street cleaning and Councilman Marty Beasley suggested U.S. 40 be cleaned in early morning hours. Mayor Tom Arthur said he plans to see to street cleaning for U.S. 40 and S.R. 59 starting 4-5 a.m. on a date to be determined.

Clay County Humane Society

Clay County Humane Society Director Rick Moore was on hand to update the Council on happenings at the animal shelter. A total of 37 city animals were taken to the shelter, while 25 were taken from the county. Six animals were euthanised, and 93 were sent out to other states. Problems with irresponsible pet owners who don't spay or neuter their pets have contributed to overcrowding issues at the shelter.

Mayor Comments

Mayor Tom Arthur updated the Council on the progress of the storm siren installation. The city and township have secured one easement, and are waiting on a surveying report.

The Main Street Board of Directors will be selected and there will be a Main Street kickoff at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.

The Mayor also talked about the Walkways Repair and Maintenance Policy recently passed by the Brazil Board of Works and Public Safety. The lawsuit filed in 2001 requires the project be complete by Dec. 31, 2005, which is likely not possible. If the Indiana Civil Liberties Union has problems with the status of the project, the issue can return to the court system. Arthur said he conducted an audit of the sidewalks, and as the suit specifically addressed Vandalia and Lambert streets, those walks will take priority.

The Brazil City Council regularly meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month in Council Chambers at City Hall. Meetings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.

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