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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Council passes city's budget

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ruth Ann Jeffries
Even with some contention, the Common Council of the City of Brazil approved its 2010 budget during its meeting Tuesday night.

During the audience comments portion of the meeting, City Parks Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries and Treasurer Linda Messmer questioned why they had to make further cuts in their budget.

"At first, we were told we had to manage a $236,000 budget with 2-percent salary increases factored in, and we did that," Jeffries said. "But then, we were told we had to cut it even further to fit a budget of $208,000 with a 3-percent increase in salaries, and I am just wondering why the change happened."

Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen responded by saying the Parks Board had chosen not to make any cuts out of the 2009 budget like most of the other city departments did, so all the necessary cuts had to come out of the 2010 budget, which was not a satisfactory answer for Parks Board members in attendance.

"We have cut our budget to the bone and if any unexpected events happen, there is the real possibility we would either have to close the pool, or not even open it at all," Messmer said. "Currently, we are already having to cut two park security positions and one lifeguard."

Messmer added that if the pool is able to be opened, operating hours will be shortened to noon-4 p.m., and Sundays will be no longer be an option for open swimming, but to pool parties only.

Understanding the frustration of Parks Board members, Council President Pat Heffner acknowledged that every department is struggling with a tighter budget.

"The Mayor is working on a lot of the issues and trying to make things work," she said.

No additional discussion occurred when final action on the budget came up on the agenda, and the council approved the budget as presented with a 3-2 vote, with Sam Glover and Heffner casting opposing votes.

Sam Glover
"I had an issue with the raises," Glover told The Brazil Times, explaining his vote against passing the budget. "I know that the firefighters negotiated a 3-percent raise and we need to have that across the board, but I just felt with as tight as the budget is and all the cuts we had to make, that it was not the right time to give raises."

Meanwhile, the council also addressed the public hearing and second reading of an ordinance for the potential annexation of various areas into the city.

Little discussion occurred on the topic, but a couple of business owners in the specified areas inquired about what additional services they would receive and the possible benefits of being annexed into the city.

"I'm sure this came as a shock to many outside of the city because some of them are currently getting city services free of charge," Council member Steve Lamb said.

The council approved the second reading of the ordinance to continue to the process with a vote of 4-1 as Steve Lamb cast the opposing vote.

"This is not the final step, it is the time for public questions and input," Sue Beesley, partner with Bingham McHale, LLP, Indianapolis, said during the meeting. "There is a third reading of the ordinance, which is tentatively set for a special meeting on Nov. 17."

In other business during Tuesday's meeting, the council:

* Passed a resolution for the reduction of appropriations in the 2009 budget,

* Signed an interlocal agreement, which had already been signed by the Board of Public Works and Safety and the Clay County Commissioners, for the purchase of seven properties that had been involved in numerous tax sales. The properties will be included in the plans for rehabilitation through Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant funding,

* Approved the first reading of a personal property tax abatement application submitted by Morris Manufacturing, Brazil, as they intend to purchase new equipment which costs approximately $923,000,

* Entered into a temporary contract with Wallace Bros., Inc., Brazil, for sanitation services assistance. The contract is for 10 days at a cost of $600 a day,

* Passed an ordinance setting the terms of firefighters time off due to a work-related injury, and

* Through a 4-1 vote in which Brad Deal opposed, approved the City of Brazil's Trick-or-Treat hours for 5:30-8:30 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 31 only.

The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil is set for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

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Regarding the Trick or Treat topic: the Council was made aware of "Trunk or Trick" on Wednesday evening, prior to Halloween and the Brazil Fire Department will be open Friday evening to host goblins, witches, fairies and what-not. I'm not sure of the hours for either one, though. "Trunk or Treat" is sponsored by area churches. Then, of course Halloween night is Saturday, so that actually three nights for the kiddo's.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 6:14 AM

a tax abatement does not mean Morris will not pay taxes, it only means they have a little longer period to pay. indeed they will pay taxes. thank goodness Morris and other business are here to provide jobs for our county citizens.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 11:23 PM

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