While Mayor Tom Arthur believes a recycling center will benefit the community, remaining sensitive to the wishes of Craig Park donors and the Brazil Park Board is a priority.
The Brazil City Council approved the first reading of Resolution 5-2005, to authorize the submission of a recycling grant with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, during its final May meeting. The resolution was tabled from a previous meeting after Council members voiced concern over the possibility of using the former zoo building at Craig Park to temporarily house a city recycling center. Because the land was acquired with a federal grant, Council members had doubts about whether using that area other than for previously specified purposes in the future is permissible.
While the first reading of the resolution passed, the vote was not unanimous. Councilman Jim Sheese and Councilwoman Ann Bradshaw voted in opposition to the motion.
Arthur's original proposal was regarding an application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), funds from which could be used to establish a recycling processing center with the assistance of the Clay-Owen-Vigo Solid Waste Management District. The original proposal also included the purchase of three vertical balers, paper shredder, loader/forklift, containers/trailer and a truck scale for pick-ups. The Mayor approached the Brazil Park Board about using shredded wood chips on path parkways.
At the outset of the meeting, Arthur shared with the Council the results of some of his research into the matter. He told members about the Housing and Urban Rural Recovery Act of 1983.
"It repealed the federal use restrictions for properties assisted under the Open Space Land Program," he said.
A grantee, in this case the city of Brazil, can convert the previous use of the land without a need for concurrence, or approval, by Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But he emphasized that does not mean he will forge ahead with any plans after talking with Park Board members and hearing some of their concerns.
"After talking with them, some of my plans have changed," he said.
Arthur said that his original plan involved getting the recycling processing center started for a brief period of time, no more than one year, until it was up and running. After that time, it could be moved to an alternate site. This could coincide with the Park Board's master plan of using the building for a number of possibilities, and the board's time table to implement those plans. The five-acre field at the Wastewater Treatment Plant could be ideal.
"I want this thing to be successful, so I want to start small," he said. "I still want to respect their plans."
Meanwhile, he commended the Brazil Park Board and Clay County Parks Association for their efforts.
"They have done a tremendous amount of work out there," he said.
The Mayor told the Council he has reworked the resolution to include only a truck priced at $38,000 that includes a snow blade, a dump bed and gross weight of 19,000 pounds. While IDEM typically offers a 50-50 match, in this case it would provide only 25 percent because the truck will be used for purposes other than just the recycling program.
Arthur said if the grant is not awarded, the Council can revisit options for purchasing a truck without the additional funding. No purchase will be made before the city knows for sure whether it will receive the grant.
The second reading of Resolution 5-2005 will be on the agenda of the first Council meeting in June. Meetings are open to the public and conducted in Council Chambers at City Hall starting at 7 p.m.