Highlights of the business discussed at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil included:
- The approval of a new building code
The council unanimously approved Ordinance 5-2006, a measure "regulating the construction, alteration, equipment, use, occupancy and location of buildings and structures in Brazil," on its second reading.
The ordinance differentiates between work that requires a permit and is subject to city inspection and those that are non-regulable. According to City Plan Administrator Brandy Means, most small projects will not require the city's clearance under the new law.
"Any kind of maintenance (is allowed) as long as you're not altering," she said.
Among the improvements subject to city approval are new home construction, home additions, window replacement, siding, alteration of a roof line and remodeling jobs involving plumbing or electrical work, according to a list compiled by Brazil City Building Inspector Ron Keen.
Mayor Tom Arthur noted that the ordinance will not take effect until it is approved by the state and published in the newspaper.
-An ordinance regulating semi-trailer parking in residential areas
After including a last-second amendment, council members voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 6-2006 on its first reading. As amended, the law prohibits the parking of "semi-trailers, pole trailers, utility trailers or any other trailer that is in excess of 20 feet in length" on any street within a residential zone.
The original language of the bill set the length limit at 25 feet, but Councilman James Sheese suggested the maximum length be shortened to include backhoes and tractors under the law.
Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said the ordinance should also designate a width limit for vehicles parked in residential areas, and council members agreed to re-amend the ordinance with a width restriction upon its second reading.
-The acceptance of a bid for a tax anticipation warrant
The council voted unanimously to award a tax anticipation warrant to First National Bank and Trust.
According to Arthur, the city receives its property tax revenues in two annual payments, one in June and one in December. The tax anticipation warrant allows the city to access the money in the form of a loan before those payments are received.
"It's kind of like borrowing against your next paycheck," said City Attorney Joe Trout.
The city received two bids from local banks. The FNB bid carried a 4.44 percent interest rate, slightly lower than the 4.97 percent rate offered by Riddell National Bank.
Arthur said it would be difficult to predict how much money the city will borrow before receiving its first wave of property tax revenue.
"Hopefully, not much. It's hard to say," he said. "The nice thing is we can take it out in small chunks."