While Brazil City Council members agree with the Mayor cleaning up the city is a positive statement, discussion of enforcement feasibility was called into question Tuesday night.
Councilwoman Pat Heffner is sponsoring Ordinance 2-2005, which the Council reviewed under New Business at its second January meeting.
The ordinance regarding trash collection includes a civic penalty of $50 and reads:
"No person shall place, put or deposit any trash, garbage, waste or rank elements, either placed in any type of container or bag, or empty trash container or bag in any tree row, street or on that person's property or residence in such a manner that it is visible from a public street, except for the designated collection day each week or the designated heavy trash collection day and no earlier than 6 p.m. of the person's normally or rescheduled trash collection day if the trash collection day falls during the week of a city-authorized and approved holiday."
City Planning Administrator Michele Driscoll, who has been proactively working toward beautifying the city through numerous clean-up efforts, explained to the Council there would be some degree of leniency in administration of tickets after discussion of residents working late out of town or other extenuating circumstances.
"I'm not that hard of a case," she said.
She also noted not every violator would be caught "unless you're out there policing it 24-7."
Meanwhile, an audience member suggested residents could practice the good neighbor policy by taking in each other's trash receptacles from time to time.
"I think it's great if it can be enforced," Councilman Jim Sheese said. "There's no use in passing it if nothing's going to be done."
City Attorney Joe Trout agreed and pointed out part of the goal set outlined by Mayor Tom Arthur is to help Brazil evolve into a more aesthetically pleasing place to reside.
"You've got to start somewhere," he said.
In other refuse-related news, Councilman Marty Beasley was sponsoring approval to seek contracts for the sanitation department, also in New Business.
Beasley told fellow Council members the city is losing about $7,000 a year on its trash pickup deal. In addition to believing another company could provide less-expensive options, Arthur indicated he would like to implement buffet-style bidding.
Beasley also discussed a $25,093 cost associated with a truck purchased at the end of 2003, which he said has four more years on it. At some point in the future, the city will need to consider the purchase of a new garbage vehicle.
"What will happen to our city guys? I'm really concerned about that," said Heffner, whose fellow Council members echoed her inquiry regarding sanitation employees. "They are really good workers."
Arthur said that while he thinks it's possible one of the employees will not be with the city much longer, he agrees they are good employees and would make sure they continued to keep their jobs, or other jobs with the city, if a new company couldn't take them on as workers.
The Council scheduled a special session, open to the public, for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Council Chambers at City Hall.
All Council members were in attendance at Tuesday's meeting.