In reports to the city council Tuesday night:
- the city's financial outlook is looking better, but still running a deficit, Mayor Tom Arthur said.
The General Fund is about $168,000 in the red, but the deficit is smaller than a month ago, he said.
As the city prepares for next year's budget, Arthur hopes to choose a finance committee to look at possible budget cuts, some of which he already has in mind. He believes the deficit can be reduced by half, though he wouldn't specify beyond saying the city's assessed valuation has not yet been determined and there are city expenses, such as insurance, that has not yet been billed.
City tax revenues are based on assessed valuation of real estate and city expenses include such things as health insurance, partially paid for city employees.
- Fire Chief Tobey Archer attended the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, Md., on July 29-31.
Classes were organized by the Indiana State Fire Marshals Office and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Training Division.
"The course I attended was "Training Operations in Small Departments," Archer said. "It was an excellent class that related to our department's current needs. Training Officer and Assistant Chief Smith and myself will apply this information to the department's current training program."
The fire department's ladder truck is temporarily out of service for routine maintenance. The Greencastle Fire Department has agreed to support the Brazil department, should the need arise. The ladder engine should be back in service by Aug. 17.
Archer also praised his department's response to the fire at Tradition's on National Avenue on Aug. 4.
"Even though the fire was contained while it was relatively small, the department members performed very well in establishing a large water supply to the roof and aerial operations in record time, even quicker than the best training time," he said.
- The City Police Department has ticketed 80-100 abandoned vehicles and has had about 12 towed away," reported Cap. Andy Whittington.
- The city has spent more than $14,000 to remove unsafe buildings so far this year, and has not been able to recoup any of that amount, reported Plan Director Michele Griffin. That is about 75 percent of the 2005 budgeted amount.
The next meeting of the Brazil City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 23 in a joint meeting with the City Plan Commission at City Hall.