The Brazil Parks and Recreation Board met for its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13, to discuss varying issues in the city parks.
After a reading of last month's meeting minutes and a review of the treasurer's report, the board heard from Park Superintendent Bill Houck.
Houck reported all city parks have been mowed and mulched for the winter season. All city park bathrooms have also been winterized.
Houck also reported several lights have been replaced at Forest Park, new windowpanes have been put in at the Forest Park pavilion, a new security system has been installed in park computers and large cracks in the floors of the comfort station have been fixed.
The Trunk or Treat event hosted in a city park was a big success. According to Houck, approximately 700 children attended the event.
Next, the board discussed trail progress at Craig Park. Board President Ruth Ann Jeffries said a representative from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said the soil samples that were collected are not sufficient enough to install culverts at the trail. An architect working on the project suggested that at the spots where culverts are needed, small, wooden bridges are to be put in place.
Jeffries said the bridges should be delivered within 12-16 weeks. The board was in favor of placing these bridges in the park, but said it will need to be discussed with the Clay Community Parks Association.
Next, the board discussed the possibility of enforcing evictions at city parks. The board discussed whether or not weapons are allowed at city parks during last month's meetings, and Jeffries, after speaking with Police Chief Clint McQueen, found that park by-laws and ordinances supercede state laws because of certain restrictions. According to Jeffries, the board has the authority to ban weapons and explosives from city parks.
The board discussed the issue with city attorney Traci Lawson, who suggested the board create an ordinance discussing the use of parks including penalties of breaking park laws. The ordinance would allow for rule breakers to be banned up to 90 days from city parks and property.
The board also discussed enforcing age restrictions at Forest Park. The board has had trouble with teenagers vandalizing and damaging equipment in the past. The board voted unanimously to allow only children age 12-and-under onto the park's playground equipment. Parents or guardians are also permitted to be there.
The board wondered if there would be issues with young baby-sitters or young adults accompanying children at the playground. The board ultimately decided it would be up to the police's discretion to judge in individual circumstances.
Next, the board reviewed different line items in the budget. Their main issue was with charges from Frontier for telephone and Internet services. The board currently pays approximately $280 per month for two phones and Internet and has already gone over the projected amount for the year concerning those charges.
Jeffries said she feels the board "doesn't have to stay with a company that is costing us so much money."
The board will ask New Wave Communications for phone and Internet estimates with the possibility of the board switching services.
Next, the board reviewed guidelines for bands performing in the Forest Park pavilion. The board agreed there needs to be stricter rules when it comes to noise levels and the time a band can play until.
The board felt the 10 p.m., limit was too late, especially with concern to local neighbors. The board decided 9 p.m., would be a good time for bands to stop playing, with the exception of festivals.
Finally, the board read a letter from Board Secretary Caroline McCullough to Mayor Brian Wyndham where McCullough announced her resignation from the Park board.
McCullough, a member of the board for roughly 16 years, said she is looking to simplify her life. Her resignation will take effect in January 2013.
In her letter, McCullough said she feels, "Brazil city parks are in good hands."