Members of the Brownwood City Council discussed the idea of a potential juvenile curfew during Tuesday morning’s meeting at City Hall.
Council member Walker Willey initiated the conversation, stating, “I thought about this years back, why the City of Brownwood didn’t have an ordinance passed for a juvenile curfew. I have had several conversations with some P.D. officers about the potential for a juvenile curfew. When I worked in an area that did have a juvenile curfew, it was a huge benefit to our department and I feel like it would be the right thing for us to due diligence on potentially looking at one for Brownwood.”
Walker further explained his reasoning, stating, “This is another tool to be able to keep the streets safer and keep people safer, especially with underage kids that don’t have any business being out in the wee hours of the morning. The point is to get those underage kids that are potentially up to no good or potentially could get in harm’s way, to get them in the hands of a responsible person.”
Curfew times discussed included 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on the weekend, but those times are not set in stone.
“What this does is establishes a curfew time throughout the days of the week and the weekend where anyone under the age of 17, officers can stop what seems to be an underage kid walking down the sidewalk at say 2 in the morning,” Willey said. “Let them identify if they are a juvenile and if they are in fact a juvenile the officers can contact the parents and try and get arranged for them to be picked up or dropped off at home, have a responsible party take control of them after the curfew hours.”
Potential exceptions to the curfew would include:
- being accompanied by a parent
- at the direction of a guardian
- going to or returning from work
- on their own property or a neighbor’s property with the neighbor’s approval
- school events
- religious events
- recreational events supervised by adults
Fines could be imposed as well.
“If it’s a kid whose parents are not taking responsibility for them, maybe that will encourage them to, but that’s not the first goal of the ordinance,” Willey said.
Brownwood Police Chief Ed Kading added there’s a safety component to the curfew as well.
“I think everybody who has a child wants to know where their children are after 11 o’clock at night if they’re not at home,” Kading said. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of juvenile crime, but there’s a lot of kids out and about. There’s some fighting, there’s some vandalism. Us stopping them and taking them somewhere at 2 in the morning may not fix that. But if we just see someone who appears to be 16 years old at 2 a.m. walking down the street, we can’t do anything about that. We can make consensual contact, but if they don’t want to talk to us they’re free to go.”
Council member Ed McMillian stated he was firmly against the idea of a curfew.
“I’m going to have to be out on the curfew,” McMillian said. “It’s all for a good cause, I understand that, but I think we have too much government now. I know there’s a purpose, but I don’t think it’s as greatly needed. I kind of laugh when you say ‘get them back to a responsible party. If they were responsible, they wouldn’t be on the street.”
Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes also shared his thoughts on the idea of a curfew.
“I’m concerned that it undermines the trust in our local government and processes, that they’re being singled out because of their age,” Haynes said. “At one point in time I was 16, 17 years old and if the government told me I was violating the law simply because I was out at night, it probably wouldn’t sit very well with me. I’d feel like I was getting picked on cause I was younger.”
An action item is expected to appear on the Brownwood City Council agenda in the near future.
Action items that were on the agenda Tuesday included:
- Authorizing the expenditure of an emergency replacement of a motor and pump for the Roanoke pump station up to $21,400.
The Roanoke pump station was originally built in 2006 and is the primary pumping facility that fills the Southeast Elevated Tank utilizing two pumps. Recently the #1 motor shorted out and after inspecting the pump city personnel found that the pump needed repairs as well. The quote to repair the motor was approximately $7,300 and the pump was $18,510. With the vendor’s cost to install and align the equipment ($2,000) the total cost to repair the motor and pump came to $25,810.
After soliciting bids, the new motor cost came in at $13,075 and the new pump cost came in at $6,262.67. With the vendor’s cost to align the equipment ($2,000) the total cost for the new pump and motor is $21.337.67. The purchase of the new motor and pump will be charged to the Plant/Towers/Wells/Reservoirs line item in the Water department budget (budget of $6,000) resulting in a budget deficit. Due to savings in other Water department budget line items this amount may be absorbed, therefore, a total budget increase may not be evident.
- Passage of an ordinance requesting additional language in addressing recreational vehicles within the City.
The new language is as follows:
(a) A person may not stay in, reside, and/or occupy a Recreational Vehicle on private property other than in a designated recreational vehicle park as specified in Sec. 98-582(a), except on a temporary basis, not to exceed 10 days.
(b) A person may not connect a Recreational Vehicle to City supplied utilities (i.e., water and/or sewer) for the purposes of staying in, residing and/or occupying a Recreational Vehicle, other than on a temporary basis, not to exceed 10 days.
(c) A resident who owns a Recreational Vehicle may park at their residence for parking purposes only. Electric service may be connected to the Recreational Vehicle by an extension cord for conditioning purposes only (heat, cool, appliances), to work on the Recreational Vehicle or for temporary use as permitted herein. The Recreational Vehicle shall at no time be used as a permanent dwelling and shall not be considered a permissible accessory building or structure.
(d) No person shall hook up a Recreational Vehicle to electrical utilities, water, city sewer, septic systems, telephone, or place a receptacle for receiving mail or any other service or device which would indicate more than the temporary use of the Recreational Vehicle as permitted herein.
(e) Property owners are responsible for Recreational Vehicles and their uses while placed on their property regardless of the ownership of the Recreational Vehicle
- Troy Carroll was appointed as a board member to the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center Board.