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Friday, May 6, 2016

City placing a stop on some signs

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mary Fisher Upset about the sign ordinance
* Ordinance irks some business owners

Ordinance enforcement is ordering "Baker Bob" back to the kitchen.

For a number of years, ordinances in the City of Brazil have gone without regulation, but are now being routinely enforced.

Ann Bradshaw Wants to enforce all city ordinances
On Tuesday, Brazil City Planning Administrator Michele Altman went out to inform business owners that their freestanding signs are against the current sign ordinance, which was passed in December 2006.

"The original ordinance was passed in 1931, and it was the first time it had been amended since," she said. "The problem was, like many other ordinances, it was never truly enforced."

Making sure all ordinances were being enforced is part of Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw's plan to help clean up the city.

"When I was on the council, it got real aggravating to see new ordinances being passed and none of them enforced," Bradshaw said. "All we are doing is ensuring the city is abiding by what it has set instead of letting everything slide."

However, the sign ordinance has become a point of frustration for local business owners. It prohibits any sign constructed as a "standard outdoor advertising structure or billboard."

This includes the well-known "Baker Bob," which stands just outside the door of Goodies Galore, along with other easel-style signs sitting outside of Brazil businesses.

In an e-mail to The Brazil Times, Mary Fisher vented her frustration over having to take "Baker Bob" inside.

"I paid $600 (my complete advertising budget) for my statue and now they are telling me I can't use him!" she said. "He holds the sign to let people know what's on the lunch menu each day. I have had several people from out of town say they specifically drove to Brazil to see "Baker Bob."

Altman appreciates the statue's effectiveness of bringing people in from out of town, but knows the city needs to enforce its own rules.

"I believe 'Baker Bob' is a good sign, but it is prohibited under our current ordinance," Altman said.

Under the terms of the ordinance, those found in violation have 10 days to become compliant before a fine of $500 per day is levied.

However, the city is choosing to be a little more lenient until changes can be made to the ordinance.

"It is way too restrictive," Altman said. "Because of this, we are going to have a joint work session for both the council and plan commission to discuss potential changes."

However, for changes to be enacted, the Common Council of the City of Brazil will have to approve modifications before a new ordinance can go into effect.

"We can always call a special meeting, for the public to also attend, and suspend the rules to pass it immediately to get the process rolling," Bradshaw said.

Even so, some of the business owners are against restrictive sign ordinances.

"I think it is a ridiculous ordinance," Sherry Wilkinson of Old Fashioned Jewelry said, wanting the April 17th work session to temper the hard-handed position of the city. "I hope common sense will prevail."

Businesses can apply for a permit allowing them to put out their additional signs for a maximum of 30 days each year, or a variance allowing them to legally stray from the restrictions of the ordinance.

"A variance application has to be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which is the official appeals board for the city," Altman said.

Long-established Allstate Insurance Representative Ted Paris said he knew about the ordinance when he first put his sign out, and has had a permit for several years.

"I think there needs to be an ordinance, you do not want anyone being able to put signs out," Paris said, stating business owners need to take into consideration that signs may create a hazard if blown away by wind gusts.

While adamant about the city needing to help businesses, Rick Bell, owner of Traditions and Pappy's Bar-B-Que, also recognizes the need for the ordinance.

"Businesses are struggling right now and they need help, not hindrances. I'm not crazy about them enforcing it," he said. "But I understand because you don't want people tripping over signs on the sidewalks."

Brazil City Reserve Police Officer Eric Vanatti, who assists with code enforcement, told The Brazil Times it is important to stick to the ordinances in order to improve the city.

"Residents complain about the way the city looks, and all we are doing is trying to make it better," he said. "We are working on enforcing other ordinances as well so help beautify Brazil."

Bradshaw said the city has invited business owners who have called City Hall to complain about the ordinance to the work session.

"We want them to tell us what they find wrong with the current ordinance so we can improve it," she said.

Altman echoed the mayor's sentiments.

"We always encourage the public to attend our meetings," she said. "It is easier to serve the best interest of the city's residents and businesses when they voice their opinions."

All ordinances can be viewed on the City of Brazil web site, at www.brazil.in.gov, under the "City Ordinances" heading.

The joint work session is scheduled for Thursday, April 17, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

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I understand that residents are complaining about the way the city looks, it does need improvement. However, most of these signs they are talking about do NOT cause the city of Brazil problems in how it looks. There are so many other factors, the roads, sidewalks and junk in people's yards that need attention and would help clean up the city way more than these signs. I'm all for cleaning up the city, but come on people, work on what's really giving Brazil a bad name, not something that is HELPING to bring business to local merchants and most of these signs, such as Baker Bob, are in no way unattractive. It amazes me how our city government puts so much time and energy into some things when there are much more pressing matters that need dealt with first.

-- Posted by asil on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 9:30 PM

This is ridiculous. There are so many OTHER things that need addressed in this city. I think we are going after the wrong people here.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 6:48 AM

So if I read this correctly, the city admits that the new ordinance is a bit to restrictive and needs to be updated which it plans on doing. In the mean time anyone who has a sign has to remove it?

Would it not have been easier and more friendly to the tax paying businesses if the city were to have fixed the ordinance first and then enforced it?

I completely understand the need for a clean city but it seems there are many other things to worry about besides shooting the gun before you have it fully loaded.

-- Posted by johnny1010 on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 6:51 AM

You know maybe the problem here is the past City Council made too many stupid ordinances. And just exactly who is supposed to enforce them? I know if you call the police about a barking dog, 9 times out of 10 they never come and check on it, and if they do they don't do anything. And the noise ordinance, boy how many tickets have been given on that one? I'm not saying those are stupid, I'm just asking why they aren't enforced? Come on mayor get real, signs? When do we take down the sign at US40 and SR59 that has your name on it?

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 7:06 AM

I dont understand what the major problem seems to be here? The only way you can read signs in Brazil is if you are walking because the roads are so rough and full of potholes that you cant read them while driving anyway. If you want to clean up Brazil, fix the roads, do something with the water tower, and get INDOT to set the stoplight at Franklin and National to where it's in sequence with all of the other lights on main street.

-- Posted by studentsfirst on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 7:30 AM

I agree with 'studentsfirst' about the traffic lights. I work on the east side of Terre Haute and it honestly takes me as long to go from the light at Wal-Mart to the light where 40 and 340 split as it does to get from there to work! Heaven forbid there be an accident on I70 or it's next to impossible to get through town! Mayor, please do something about this! The timing is off and some lights such as at Murphy Avenue last way too long if you're going north/south.

As far as the sign issue, let's encourage our business owners to stay in Brazil. If their signs are in good taste and do not interfere with walking pedestrians then what does it hurt to add a litte small town class to our city? Maybe visitors will notice that instead of how many buildings are empty! I am excited about the new leadership and I'm glad the mayor is cracking down on things that will make Brazil a better place but I have to agree there are some matters of higher importance than this one.

-- Posted by just thinking on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 7:52 AM

This is petty. Brazil has so many other issues that need attention. WHO is getting paid to read all of the 50+ year old ordinances that haven't been enforced since they were made? Can we use our tax dollars for a better purpose? What about he strays, roads, street lights, water leaks all throughout town, etc???? Come on Mayor Bradshaw, let's get with the program!!

-- Posted by chickenlady on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:13 AM

What do these signs have to do with cleaning up the city ??? Why not clean up the parking lot at Kroger by getting the kids from not loitering there at night and dumpimg there trash, and doing all there other things that keep people away from there at night in fear that one of them will run over them or get hit with a can or bottle of a beverage whick is alchol at times. You can't count on the police because they won't come because they have been ordered not to. These kids all have parents that have certain last names that make it OK. Clean the city how about the new Lil Ceasars with all those UGLY orange signs out by the street that will be in the street soon, the UGLY bike rack in front of the old Murphy's. What about the fire hydrant in front of the court house that has been leaking water for what 5 years. There is usually signs around it. What about the bricks that fall from one of the buldings by the licence branch. I could go on forever but won't. And the city makes Goodies Galore get rid of Baker Bob. Real important stuff on the agenda I see.

-- Posted by papagoober on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:53 AM

So not only will we waste time enforcing ordinances from the Depression Era now we want to have more meetings to improve these ordinances? This is good stuff. I bet CNN will be at the next meeting.

We have an Amber alert, Folks! Baker Bob is on the sidewalk.

-- Posted by Gunslinger on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 9:11 AM

Can we start a petition to get this INSANE law removed?

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 9:22 AM

isn't funny how last week the big announcement was about how much debt Brazil is in and how they are going to make cutbacks and find ways to get out of debt. Businesses paying for a sign permit is a way to raise money I guess. Leave them alone. Give business owners incentives to come here, not reasons to drive them away. You wanna raise money in Brazil? Fine people for riding mopeds, lawn mowers, and golf carts up and down our streets with no liscenses.

-- Posted by ohosit on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 10:17 AM

Please take down the "Welcome To Brazil" Ann Bradshaw, Mayor sign...I think that would be an excellent start to her enforcing ALL city ordinances! BRING BACK BAKER BOB!!!!!!

-- Posted by clgruener on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 11:39 AM


Thursday, April 17, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

Be there!

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 11:42 AM

Please take down the "Welcome To Brazil" Ann Bradshaw, Mayor sign...I think that would be an excellent start to her enforcing ALL city ordinances! BRING BACK BAKER BOB!!!!!!

-- Posted by clgruener on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 11:46 AM

I completely agree we need to improve the look of our city, but picking on business owners is not the right way! They are one of the assets of our community not one of the problems. This is ridiculous!! We have far more things in this city to worry about instead of business signs! How about the animal problem, or sidewalks, pot holes in streets, thumping of car stereos??? Drive on any street in city limits and look around, there are several other issues that should be addressed. But I guess the payoff is not as big from a home owner as a business owner. And second, why does part of the money from these violations go to the reserve program-(as stated in first story about this)???? I just read a week or so ago that our city is several thousands of dollars in debt, and we are going to give some of this money to something like that instead of investing into something worthwhile!!! Everyone remember this at next election

-- Posted by voterrights on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 1:07 PM

I am so glad the mayor is doing something about this. After all, we have a sign ordinance and if it is not being enforced why even have the ordinances? Businesses are just upset they may have to clean up a little bit. So what? I'm willing to sacrifice a little to clean the city up. Maybe the sign ordinance is a little stiff, okay, I think they have made mention that it will be looked at to see if it should be fixed. I think the current mayor is doing a great job and backtracking on problems that were never fixed during the last administration. Lets remember this in the next election: The current mayor is doing a great job at cleaning the city up and making it attractive. The current mayor is also enforcing all ordinances that are already on the books. That is what I voted for and will continue to vote for. I would rather have this mayor than a lazy mayor that lets things slide.

-- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 2:54 PM

it will be great not to see yard sale signs plastered all over every telephone and lightpole in town.

-- Posted by tinytim on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:08 PM

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:50 PM

1931 ordinance in 2008. better go back and arrest that cigar store Indian that used to be in front of the old cigar store on National ave. LOOOONG time ago

-- Posted by Sidney on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:55 PM

This is absolutely absurd. These are decent business owners for crying out loud! This will do nothing but drive businesses out of Brazil. What is this mayor thinking? Hope she enjoys her ONE and ONLY term in office.

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 8:58 PM

My only concern with this is how stupid this ordinance sounds! We are in the year 2008 not 1931. Does anyone realize that signs is what people look at to see if they would like to visit or even eat somewhere? How can you enforce something so petty? Who is the one that is going to enforce this? I am pretty sure nobody in this town would like to. Does anyone higher up realize that this ordinance may turn us into a ghost town? Have you ever walked up one side of 40 and then back on the other side? We have so many vacant buildings as is so when we remove the signs then what is going to attract people to our town? Everybody involved in this ORDINANCE needs to really sit back and think about what they are about to do. You may even drive businesses out of this town. Maybe that is what you are trying to do then we can be a desolate town. Cool I would love to live in a ghost town! That is what we will probably become in the future. Surely you could think of some other way to come up with the money to get our town out of debt besides fine businesses because of SIGNS!!

-- Posted by srdd on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 9:16 PM

i know of a few city ordinance i have called several times about cars parking on the west side of the street on S. alabama. mainly parks in a no parking zone around the curve. i just about hit a car head on going thru there. its been no parking on the west side of that roads for as lond as i can remember. and thats been a few yrs. I called the city police and watched to see if they would show up and guess what they went to sub way instead,that car was parked there for a good 4 hrs. i had called them several times about the same area having cars parked in a no parking zone. And they are up in the air over baker bob and other bussiness trying to atract customers. to keep in bussiness, and keep their bussiness here in town.

I was once told if you want to open a bussiness dont open it in brazil. Lets do what we can to keep our bussiness here and not terre haute or other places. Let these people advertise any way they can afford to as long as it is being display safely. close to the building then no one should trip over it. or have it chained to thier building so the big gust of wind wont take it far.

A lot of these bussiness i would not of known they were there if it wasnt for thier signs

If i remember right a bussiness has to pay taxes to the city/county. with no advertising that catches the eye (like baker bob) or an extra sign out in front of there place means less bussines for them , which means less taxes they have to pay , end result less that the city/county gets.

-- Posted by pepsilady on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 12:24 AM

How about a compromise? If a sign is a PERMANENT fixture (Baker Bob) let them remain as long as it doesn't block the "flow of traffic." I personally think the little folding signs all over the sidewalks are a bit of an eyesore. And anyway, didn't thousands of our tax dollars just go to repairing the sidewalks in town so they could be walked on? Who really wants to walk around a bunch of signs to get anywhere?

As for the timing on the light, call INDOT at 812-232-7921 and complain.

As for the water tower, if I understand correctly, attempts are being made to get funding for a renovation.

You people have to remember that Ms. Bradshaw is trying to make a difference, but sometimes it takes baby steps before you can run.

-- Posted by KTEAPayne on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 2:22 PM

This is not the end of it! The petty stuff is not over. I am so glad I dont live in Brazil! GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by WhyInBrazil on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 7:37 PM

The ordinance was passed with the previous administration, Tom Arthur. If you take the time to read the ordinance online like I did, you can see that it was passed only a few years ago, not in 1931.

-- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Sun, Apr 6, 2008, at 11:35 AM

business signs are the last thing this city needs to be worried about. The streets are the worst among the state. The mayor is a good person. I know she is trying to clean up what was left behind from the previous mayor. Focus on what is more important. City ordinances can be overturned.

-- Posted by bnett on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 3:54 AM

I would like to see that as well!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 9:04 AM

How about enforcing this one!!!!!!


(A) The Common Council of the City of Brazil deems it necessary to prevent the occurrence of excessive noise from residences, buildings, vehicles or other places within the corporate limits of the City of Brazil to preserve and protect the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of the City of Brazil, and to protect and preserve the quality of life in the city.

(B) No person shall permit excessive noise or to assemble, or permit persons to assemble, in any house, residential dwelling, apartment or building, located within the corporate limits of the City of Brazil, who annoys, disturbs, injuries or endangers the health, peace or safety of the citizens of Brazil.

(C) No person shall operate any electronic sound amplification system or equipment, radio, cassette tape player, compact disc player or any machine, device, equipment or musical instrument which produces sound outside of any house, residential dwelling, apartment, building or other enclosed structure, which disturbs the peace, quiet, enjoyment or welfare of the neighborhood within the city at any hour of the day or night, except for a parade, musical concert or other lawful entertainment event approved by the Mayor.

(Ord. 14-2004, passed 6-13-2004)

(D) No person occupying a motor vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or motor scooter on any street, highway, alley, parking lot, driveway or on any other public or private property within the corporate limits of the City of Brazil, shall operate or permit the operation of any sound amplification system or equipment, radio, cassette tape player, compact disc player, loud speaker or other electronic device used for the amplification of sound from within or on a motor vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle or motor scooter, so that the sound is plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more, or beyond the property line if the vehicle or the like is situated on private property.

(E) PLAINLY AUDIBLE means any sound which clearly can be heard by unimpaired auditory senses based on a direct line of sight of 25 feet or more, including bass reverberation. Words or phrases from a sound need not be discernable for a violation to occur.

(Ord. 7-2000, passed 1-25-2000) Penalty, see 94.99

94.99 PENALTY.

(A) Any person violating any provision of this chapter for which no specific penalty is prescribed shall be subject to 10.99.

(B) If a citation is issued, whoever violates any provision of 94.02 through 93.04, shall be subject to a civil penalty of $100. The procedure set forth in 94.04 is not a condition precedent to violation and enforcement of this chapter.

(C) If a citation is issued, whoever violates any provisions of 94.05 shall be subject to a civil penalty of $25.

(D) For violations of this chapter, a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day that a violation occurs or continues.

(Ord. 7-2000, passed 1-25-2000; Am. Ord. 14-2004, passed 6-13-2004; Am. Ord. 20-2006, passed 6-27-2006)


-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 9:21 AM

The previous mayor did introduce the ordinanc, but the coucil passed it! If you look at the vote the new mayor voted in favor of it so why is she not responsible as well.

I would like to know what mess the previous mayor left that you are referring to?

-- Posted by Partrosie on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 10:32 AM

There are just 2 options:

1. Enforce our laws or

2. Change our laws.

Let your elected officials know which option you choose.

-- Posted by IndianaJim on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 3:39 PM

unoit and madmom61 the web site is www.brazil.in.gov if you read the article it is highlighted in blue towards the end just click on it

-- Posted by pepsilady on Wed, Apr 9, 2008, at 12:03 AM

It's petty things like this that make me long more and more to get out of this town. How sad that we have nothing better to do in this town than pick apart the only businesses that are supporting this pathetic town and taking away their signs. I personally feel these sign bring character and life to your little town. How sad that someone might have to walk an extra step to two to move around the sign on the sidewalk. This is all just CRAZY. Let's face it we're living in a low/middle class income area. Nothing is ever going to look nice, business is never going to grow or thrive in this town. Instead of building new McDonalds or strip mall, zone these old building and require business to renovate and occupy them like you see in a lot of old towns like ours. Just an idea.

-- Posted by hoosiertwins on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 12:07 PM

That link has not always been there

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 2:18 PM

I agree hoosiertwins, Signs out showing that there is a bussiness in the middle of a bunch of old vacant building wont hurt a thing but todays people are to lazy to take that extra few steps around a sign.

Plus the brazil bussiness have it hard enough making a go of thier bussiness because Brazil people dont support their hometown bussiness. They would rather go to terre haute and get the same thing there that they can get in thier own town.

-- Posted by pepsilady on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 11:34 PM

I understand the point behind the ordinance... There's been many a time I've had to drive around signs when they ended up in the middle of 40. But that doesn't stop me from wondering if there aren't a few more pressing issues that need to be looked into first.

-- Posted by mhicks on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 7:09 PM

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