The City Council conducted the following business during its regular public session Tuesday evening:
- The Council unanimously approved Ordinance 15-2005, which amends the city's unsafe building code. Mayor Tom Arthur explained that the ordinance simply renumbers the code after recent changes and updates.
- The Council addressed the issue of fence setbacks in an attempt to clarify city requirements. Existing rules require 5 feet from side and back lot lines. The recent proposal is for a change to 1 foot for fence setbacks.
"I would go from whatever that right-of-way line is, and go 1 foot," Arthur said.
"That's only on fences; buildings are 5," Councilwoman Ann Bradshaw said.
The Council unanimously approved suspending the rules requiring two readings for passage, and then unanimously approved the 1-foot fence setback requirement. Existing fences will be grandfathered in so they don't have to be moved, Bradshaw said.
- Mayor Arthur updated the Council on truck traffic on city streets. At the previous meeting, a group of citizens had inquired about city requirements.
Arthur said he has studied Ordinance 1-1990, which has been modified since its passage. Vehicles in excess of three tons must use Hendrix Street, although there are exceptions for deliveries.
"Even an empty trailer alone would exceed that (weight limit)," he said.
The Brazil Board of Works and Public Safety can also restrict traffic during the months of February, March and April because of winter weather. Board members can apply a more stringent set of requirements for load limits to prevent damage to the roadways.
- Councilman Jim Sheese reported the warning sirens for Brazil Township are close to achieving functionality.
"We're within minutes of having our sirens ready to go," he said.
Before the sirens can be used, the city must purchase a disk to reset the frequency of the sirens. At the current setting, the sirens will go off if Lewis Township Volunteer Fire Dept. is toned out, and vice versa, because of the accidental use of the same frequency. The cost of the disk is $265.
Mayor Arthur told the Council a vote is not necessary, and Council members agreed to purchase the disk.
- A work session to review ordinance details for possible modification in the future is scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 7.
- Councilwoman Pat Heffner told the Council that a citizen had called with questions about speed limits in alleys, and Brazil Police Chief Mark Loudermilk reported that the city's blanket limit of 25 mph, set by a 1997 city ordinance, would apply.
The state's urban limit is 55 mph, and the state limit in residential areas is 30 mph, unless posted otherwise. While the judge prefers signage for enforcement of the 25 mph limit, Loudermilk said, it does apply to alleys.
"Absolutely 30 (mph) will be enforceable," he said.
- The Council also heard brief comments from several citizens regarding sidewalk repair, parking on city streets and sidewalks, installation of a stoplight by the hospital and designation of stop streets.
Brazil Police Department
- Brazil Police Chief Mark Loudermilk and Det. Marty Beasley went to all stores that sell products containing ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine to provide them with information, Loudermilk told the Council. The ordinance regulating sale of these products goes into effect Friday, July 1, and the information will explain how store owners and employees the necessary actions to be in compliance with the ordinance.
- The Chief has been working with City Attorney Joe Trout to implement a project using off-duty police officers to work additional hours on specific areas with traffic problems. To avoid using taxpayer funds, Loudermilk said he hoped to use money from the deferral program. He and Trout will continue to work on that project.
-In other matters, the Chief reported: the department will become involved in the state's "Click It or Ticket" program, BPD will provide security at the Brazil Rotary Fourth of July event, and six-month evaluations for all officers will be conducted the week after the Independence Day events.
Brazil Fire Department
- Brazil Fire Chief Tobey Archer said he attended a seminar in conjunction with the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns regarding fire and police pensions.
- BFD conducted flow testing for City Engineer Brian Pohlar as one of the components of the city's water survey program.
- Firefighters have gone to Great Dane for some weather-related issues.
Water and Wastewater Departments
- Two new hydrants have been placed at Mechanic and Vandalia streets and S. Lambert Street.
- Four lines were jetted.
- The city's agreed order with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management was sent back after review, and the city is waiting on a response from IDEM.