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.