Brazil citizens can now take steps to relay their sidewalk concerns as the Brazil Board of Works and Public Safety recently made strides to ensure a smooth sidewalk inspection and repair request procedure.
Members Bill Lovett, John Nelson and Mayor Tom Arthur voted to approve the walkways repair and maintenance policy during the board's regular session. The policy outlines and establishes numerous guidelines regarding city sidewalks.
The City Street Department will perform bi-annual inspections of walkways within the corporate limits of Brazil. All walkways north of U.S. 40 will be inspected in each year that ends with an even number beginning in 2006. Those that are south of U.S. 40 will be inspected in each year that ends in an odd number beginning in 2005. Each inspection will be completed by Dec. 31 of each year. The City Street Commissioner will document the inspections and provide the information to the Mayor, and the city will make the required repairs the following year as weather permits.
The walkways repair and maintenance policy allows Brazil citizens to request walkway repairs 12 months out of the year. Requests may be made in the Mayor's Office at City Hall, 203 E. National Ave., Brazil, Ind. 47834, by phone at 443-2221 or through the Internet at www.brazil.in.gov.
The policy also outlines a specific procedure for requests and subsequent follow-up to ensure requests are handled properly from the time they're submitted through completion or denial.
The Administrative Assistant to the Mayor will keep a log indicating the date, name and address of persons who request sidewalk repairs. If the request is received via Internet or the U.S. Postal Service, the Administrative Assistant will notify the individual by e-mail or through the USPS within five business days from the date of the request.
Within 10 business days of the request, a representative from the city will contact the individual requesting the repair and will personally review the walkway area in question.
If the walkway is deemed to be in need of repairs, within 10 business days of the personal review, the city will inform the individual when the walkway will be scheduled for repair based on the timetable submitted to the Indiana Civil Liberties Union on March 24, 2005.
If the city determines the walkway is in need of repair, an official will inform the individual who submitted the request within 10 business days that the sidewalk sections have been deemed a priority and will include a time frame to complete the necessary repairs. Regardless of whether the sidewalk is in the first or second priority area of the Federal Class Action filed in 2001, it will be repaired in a reasonable time. If the city is unable to meet the reasonable time limit established, an official will notify the individual who made the request in writing to establish a new time frame.
If the walkway is deemed to be in need of repairs by the city and the person submitting the request provides documentation of a physical handicap from a physician, the request will be considered a first priority and repaired within 90 days or by May 31 of the year following the request.
The city will designate one or more employees or a contractor to make the necessary repairs, and will pay for all labor and material costs associated with them. If an individual who makes a request for repairs is denied, the citizen has the right to appeal the decision by city representative. The person may submit an appeal in writing to the Mayor's Office, which will forward all appeal requests to each member of the Brazil City Council within two business days of the receipt of the appeal. Councilmen will have at least five days to review the request, and will make a decision to uphold the city representative's denial or order the repairs to be completed at the regularly scheduled meeting after the five days of review.
In other business, discussion of the purchase of a truck for the Street Department will resume at a future session of the board.
The Brazil Board of Works and Public Safety regularly meets the last Thursday of the month in Council Chambers at City Hall. Meetings begin at 9 a.m. and are open to the public.