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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

City closes in on finalizing budget

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Karen McQueen
The Common Council of the City of Brazil took its first step toward approving the 2011 budget.

During Wednesday's special meeting, a public hearing was conducted regarding the budget.

However, with no members of the general public in attendance, the hearing was quickly closed, leaving the council available to make its own comments.

The council approved a 2-percent pay increase for all city employees, excluding elected officials, during the regular Sept. 8 meeting, and Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen said Wednesday few cuts had to be made.

"The police department created a list of requests which included a 14th officer and a new vehicle," McQueen told the council. "The request for the vehicle was cut because it can be purchased with funding accumulated in the non-reverting deferral fund, and after looking at the numbers, we just can't afford a 14th officer at this time."

Included in other cuts outlined by McQueen was a $10,000 request for a new truck by the fire department, plus moving $30,000 in administration costs from the General Fund to Sanitation Fund.

The city is also being conservative with the $312,116.88 it will be receiving through the Public Safety Local Option Income Tax. Out of the available funding, only $92,594 has been allocated for 2011, which will be used to pay the police department's PERF benefits.

One extra expense the city had to factor into the upcoming budget is the municipal election.

"The election is a big expense we had to account for," McQueen said. "For 2011, we budgeted about $16,000 for the primary and general election."

Another area city officials are looking into improving is health insurance. At the August meeting the council approved a new plan, which runs through the end of 2010, at a 22-percent increase on premiums, with another jump anticipated in the renewal for 2011.

"Indiana Association of Cities and Towns has a group plan which would lock us in for three years at about the same total cost we are paying now," McQueen said. "With this plan, there would be an annual premium increase of 5-8 percent, which is much lower than the possible 20-percent increase we could have at the beginning of the year under our current plan."

Mayor Ann Bradshaw added, "We can't afford to have the size jumps in health insurance we have had in recent years, and this plan may be the way to go, but we have to look into something."

In the past couple years, funding for animal control has been an issue, and for the third year in a row, the city has budgeted $12,500 for contractual services, which is currently with Clay County Animal Rescue, Center Point.

With council member Sam Glover not in attendance, the council passed the first reading of the 2011 budget with a 4-0 vote. The council also scheduled a work session for further review of the budget for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29, and plan for final action during the regular October meeting.

Meanwhile, City Engineer Brian Pohlar provided an update on progress made with the city's Water System Improvement Projects.

"So far, 5,050 linear feet of pipe has been installed, which is approximately 21 percent of the total to be installed," Pohlar said. "When it comes to the water tower at Craig Park, the schedule is showing a start date of Nov. 1 for the foundation, which should be completed in mid-December. Then, the plan is to wait until sometime in March, because of winter weather, to begin on the pedestal and tank."

He added the other project divisions are still in the shop drawing process, some of which have been submitted for the city to address questions.

As a way of commemorating the effort put forth by city officials to get the water projects off the ground, Pohlar, who is a professional engineer with Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering, Terre Haute, presented the mayor and council members with plaques of the Aug. 11 Craig Park tower groundbreaking.

The Common Council of the City of Brazil will next meet in a regular session at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

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How is it possible that City Employee's were given a 2 % pay raise.???? When the County and Court House Employee's were told by the County Council that there was a pay Freeze. Hmmmm

Something afoot here.

This is Wrong!!!! If the City can afford a pay raise then the county and court house employee's deserve a 2 % pay raise......

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Thu, Sep 16, 2010, at 10:02 PM

Different budgets, CSI, city and county are not one organization.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Sep 16, 2010, at 10:24 PM

Good job Karen. It has taken a lot of work to correct the financial situation that Brazil faced earlier in your tenure. Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by brazilbooster on Fri, Sep 17, 2010, at 4:15 AM

CSI: I believe the County Council and also the City of Brazil are being told by the "experts" in Indianapolis that local government revenues are going to fall next year for sure and probably again in 2012. Therefore, I believe the County Council members are just being cautious and conservative with the taxpayers money. If they increase wages, that's an ongoing increase that they may have trouble funding in the future. Many-many people in the working world have not received raises for sometime and I've heard state employees have not received raises for 3 or 4 years. So I'm saying that I believe the County Council is doing the wise thing in not committing to something that could come back to bite them later on. Would'nt it be nice if the federal government would take that kind of approach with our tax dollars?

-- Posted by open minded on Fri, Sep 17, 2010, at 10:23 AM

Yes, I understand it is 2 different funds. I guess I see where the extra money charged for the water and sewage went.(pay raises) I just feel there is other area's in the city that could use that extra money. (Streets) for one.

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Fri, Sep 17, 2010, at 5:19 PM

sayitloud - tell me that you're kidding and that Brazil is not, in fact, using wooden waterlines, please! That is a sincere query, as I'm not sure but as they do seem to break often you may well be correct.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Sep 17, 2010, at 6:13 PM

I'll have to agree with the order of work, sayitloud. Little sense to lay in a new road then dig a trench through it to lay pipe under it.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Sep 18, 2010, at 9:22 AM

sayitloud- You have got to be kidding me. (Wooden Pipes)LMAO- you probably don't know what that means either. The only point I was trying to make is these are not the times for pay raises!! There are other areas that money should be used for and the City Employees should just feel lucky they have a job in these economic times.

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Sat, Sep 18, 2010, at 9:39 AM

These negative comments are "interesting" considering there were ".....no members of the general public in attendance...."

-- Posted by Objectivity on Sun, Sep 19, 2010, at 10:19 AM

Touche', OBJECTIVITY!! ; )

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Sep 24, 2010, at 4:00 PM

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