The council brainstormed with those in attendance, in an attempt to get the proposed ordinance into working order.
The proposed changes to the ordinance are:
* Registration and name tags for pets will be optional -- but encouraged -- and will be offered at no cost. The city will also allow owners who already have name tags to use their own, but are still "encouraged to be registered with the city." Instead of applications having to be renewed annually, it will be a one-time process, but if contact information changes or the animal dies, owners are encouraged to update the information,
* Penalties were increased from $50 to $100 for the first offense and $100 to $250 for the second offense. The penalty for every offense thereafter will stay at $500. The council decided to allow first-time offenders, who are registered with the city, one free pass for each animal, and
* In the section regarding kennel and cattery permits, the verbiage concerning boarding kennels being prohibited was changed to reflect the restriction of breeding kennels only.
Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham said the rationale behind making registration optional was to see what kind of reaction it gets.
Wyndham said he believes the majority of people -- like himself -- will want to get their animals back if they get loose and if they're registered, it will be easier to identify the animals.
Councilman Brad Deal's stance concerning the fees, as they are currently stated in the ordinance on the books, are too low to prosecute and collect via court -- even for repeat offenders -- because it wouldn't be cost-effective.
Councilman Dustin Jorgensen said he felt raising the fees would be a good idea.
"Let's raise the fees ... then let's see what happens and see if that works," Jorgensen said. "Instead of changing everything all at once and then if it does work, we have no idea what part of it (worked), or if it doesn't work, we're still not sure what it was."
The council's plan is to have City Attorney Traci Lawson make the changes to the ordinance and vote on it again at its Sept. 19 meeting. Once the ordinance is passed, the council will see how it works with the changes for a year, then revisit it.
Meanwhile, the council heard the first reading on Ordinances Nos. 11-and-12-2012, regarding the raising of water and sewer rates.
The motions were made and seconded to accept both ordinances, and passed 4-0, with Councilman Sam Glover absent due to a family emergency. The council will meet again on Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., in City Hall, for a public hearing regarding the ordinances and the second reading, which will allow the ordinances to be passed, pending the vote.