After the amount of time the city has been working on the proposed ordinance -- No. 10-2012 -- having no definitive decision may seem like a step sideways or even backwards.
However, there may be a positive aspect -- the city is receiving, albeit late, public input.
Councilman Brad Deal stressed how important public input was for city government.
"We've been working on this animal ordinance for four years," Deal said. "We have had meeting after meeting ... talking about the animal ordinance. Until we came to a decision, no one cared. The minute we came to a decision, everybody cared.
"I'm sorry, but my deal with that is, for four years, I've been sitting here discussing this animal ordinance, for four years we've been making proposals, for four years we've asked for input, and we've received nothing until it comes out in the paper that we're about to make a decision. My question would have to be, 'Where's everybody been?'"
However at this meeting, things were different, as many citizens came out to voice their concerns and offer ideas.
One main area of concern regarding the proposed ordinance for citizens, who were in attendance, was the reasoning for the yearly fees of $5 for altered and $50 for unaltered animals.
Deal explained the reasoning, saying there needs to be a way to identify animals and the proposed way to do that is to have pet owners register their pets and get a new tag each year.
As for the fees, the $5 altered animal fee is simply to help cover the cost of tags, and the $50 fee can be looked at as an incentive for people to spay and neuter their pets, which should help cut down on the amount of strays.
Resident and Park Board Member Linda Messmer asked about the possibility of using the revenue generated from the tag fees and fines to pay for an animal control officer, but noted $5 fees aren't going to generate enough money to fully fund a salary.
Councilman Sam Glover said the council didn't think the fees would fully fund an animal control officer's salary, but rather help offset the cost and that the money needs to be found and budgeted for.
"I think that we need to have an animal control officer in place when this ordinance goes into effect, and I think it needs to be budgeted into next year's budget," Glover said. "That money that we get from these fees will help with that -- it's not going to pay for it."
Councilman Dustin Jorgensen said he is confident the money for the officer can be found and budgeted for 2013, citing several cuts the city has made recently.
He also added it might be in the city's best interest to get the animal ordinance officer to first enforce the existing ordinance.
"We need to hire an animal control officer now, to see if what we have now does need adjusting ... you have to look at things, you have to revise," Jorgensen said. "We have no idea if what we're doing is working. We know it's not working because we have no enforcement."
Jorgensen said the officer could also be consulted and help with the process of creating the best ordinance possible.
Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham agreed with Jorgensen saying the cost savings did happen, but it was important to keep in mind that some expenses have gone up as well.
"When we do get into the budget, we'll have to look at the increases too," Wyndham said. "I don't think anybody will disagree that we do need an animal control officer in order to (enforce the ordinance)."
The council agreed that the best course of action -- especially with budget meetings coming in the near future -- was to make a motion to table the ordinance for a workshop, scheduled for Aug. 27, immediately following a 7 p.m., special meeting in City Hall.
Councilman Tyler Hutcheson made the motion to table the ordinance, which was seconded by Glover, and it passed unanimously.
In other city council news:
* Before the Aug. 27, animal ordinance workshop, the council will conduct a special meeting where it will be presented with the first draft of proposed utility rate increases, which the council said are needed to fund certain projects, and
* Sam Crawn, owner of Sam's Do It Best Hardware, Brazil, was on hand to voice his concern that he feels Wyndham is misusing tax dollars. Crawn states Wyndham has specifically told city workers to not shop at his store due to a disagreement between Crawn and the mayor's brother. Crawn provided monetary figures he calculated to gauge the amount of money he feels the mayor is costing the city -- due in large part to trips the city makes to Terre Haute. Wyndham thanked Crawn for his comments and said he didn't want to speak for his brother because he was not in attendance. He added all he would address was that he was skeptical of the legitimacy of the figures, because "he's assuming (the city) is making trips to Terre Haute that (the city) is not."
The Brazil City Council meets regularly the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m., in Brazil City Hall.