Approximately 25 residents attended the meeting to show their support for Serving On The Streets' (S.O.S.) plan to apply for a $500,000 Community Focus Fund grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to help renovate the old Brazil Junior High School. The goal is to turn the school into the organization's central location and a community center.
Many of the attendees, some of whom were S.O.S. volunteers, spoke on the positives of the organization.
"We have many shows for S.O.S.-sponsored events and it is amazing the work that they do with the children in our community," Brazil resident and RideTheWind/P150 drummer Richard Swearingen said.
Meridian Elementary fourth-grade teacher Leah Schuch added the impact S.O.S. has on the community regularly shows in her classroom.
"I have had many students who go to S.O.S., and the positive impact the organization has on them is evident every day in the classroom," Schuch said.
Council member Sam Glover also expressed his appreciation for the assistance S.O.S. has provided to the children.
"As a neighbor of S.O.S., I have always been impressed with the way they maintain their facilities," he said. "I have been even more impressed with the work they have done to benefit the children of Brazil."
With only positive comments provided during the public hearing portion of the grant discussion, the council unanimously approved the grant proposal, which must be submitted today.
The actual application for the $500,000 grant must be submitted to OCRA no later than Oct. 22, with award announcements anticipated to take place Dec. 10.
Meanwhile, the council discussed the presence of golf carts and lawnmowers on city streets.
Council President Steve Lamb said the research he has done into the matter showed that it is up to each individual city to determine whether they can be used as primary transportation on city streets.
He also suggested requiring golf carts to have taillights and allowing them to be out between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., for those utilizing them for employment purposes as well.
The council discussed the points that golf carts can be insured while riding lawnmowers cannot, and tossed around the idea of allowing them on roads from dawn until dusk, but no official decisions were reached as it was agreed more research was needed into the matter.
The topic will be discussed again at the September meeting.
In other business during Wednesday's meeting, the Common Council of the City of Brazil:
* Renewed the insurance plan for city employees with Anthem, at a 22-percent increase in premiums. The plan will run through the end of the year, allowing the city to begin new insurance plans on Jan. 1 of any given year,
* Approved the recommendation of Kenna Consulting and Management Group, Inc., Indianapolis, as the grant administrator for the 2010 Homeowner Rehabilitation Grant. Kenna received a higher rating score than West Central Indiana Economic Development District, which was the only other company to respond to the city's request for information regarding grant administration,
* Received information gathered by Mary I. Hendrickson from area towns stating they do not accept partial payments on delinquent utility bills. Hendrickson requested the city adopt a similar policy and keep water turned off until the bill is paid in full and institute an additional fee to reinstate services, in part, to help protect landlords in the area,
* Gave permission to City Attorney Bob Pell to create an ordinance to place a stop sign on Bill Brown Street, where it intersects with Harry Sherer Street,
* Tabled a discussion on a request to create three handicapped parking spaces on the west side of the Clay County Historical Society to further look into why the spaces are needed and if it is necessary to have three of them, and
* Conducted an informal discussion, led by Lamb, on the possibility of towing abandoned vehicles off private property. Pell said he would have to research the legality of the matter, which will be discussed further at a later date.
The next meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Council Chambers of City Hall.