When the Brazil Housing Authority came into some money recently, Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Hagemeyer decided to spend it on something worthwhile.
The housing authority received a signing bonus of nearly $10,000 when it entered into an agreement to lease its laundry equipment from a new supplier earlier this year. Hagemeyer made the decision to donate the entire amount to the city for the installation of two new fire hydrants and the replacement of an existing hydrant near the Cooper Towers apartments.
"Instead of painting the laundry room, we decided to spend money on fire safety," Hagemeyer said.
Concerns related to the accessibility of the existing hydrant near the towers have prompted city officials to consider prohibiting parking on several streets near the apartments. The addition of the new hydrants will ease those concerns, according to Brazil City Fire Chief Tobey Archer.
Dorlene Woodrum, the Director of the Clay County Senior Center, has expressed concerns in recent council sessions that an elimination of parking in the area would impede access to the senior center. She said the addition of new hydrants is a step in the right direction.
"If it will eliminate some of the parking hassles down there, that would be wonderful," she said.
In addition to the $9,640 appropriated for new hydrants, the housing authority will donate around $3,000 more for the installation of emergency evacuation chairs, which will allow disabled residents to exit the building more efficiently in the event of an emergency. Archer praised the BHA for its active role in ensuring the safety of Cooper Towers residents.
"The housing authority has made great efforts to address the fire department's concern. Over the past few months we have met several times to discuss possible improvements and the life safety needs of the residents," he said. "Mr. Hagemeyer and his staff have a genuine concern for the safety and well-being of the residents."