Brawley Council News and Notes

By Chris Furguson
The following are highlights from the Brawley City Council meeting on July 16, 2013.
* The Brawley Council discussed at length the idea of allowing residents to continue using credit and debit cards to pay bills. The item was an informational update
According to Finance Director Ruby Walla, the city was expected to incur around $23,000 in merchant fees thanks to the convenience of card use. The program rolled out in April of last year and was centered around the Parks & Recreation department, the Police station and Utility Billing.
Utility billing currently sees the most use and, correspondingly, sees the most fees generated. Suggestions on mitigating the costs to the city included setting a maximum dollar limit on bills to be paid and excluding “high dollar” transactions, such as Permits and Transient Occupancy Tax payments.
All other cities who allow for the use of credit and debit cards absorb the costs.
* The Brawley council looked at a pair of grant proposals by the Brawley Library and Parks & Rec. Department that would provide new computers for the Library and the Senior Center.
The grant applications will be part of the recent Local Entity Grant program that is currently being run by the Imperial Irrigation District. If approved, the funds will come from a “Special Programs” budget and not affect any businesses trying for their own grants.
The two departments are asking for enough money to replace a series of public use computers at the Library that are between five and eight years old and to install three new computers at the Senior Center.
* The Imperial Valley Food Bank and the Imperial County Film Commission gave short presentations to the city council at the meeting.
The IV Food Bank will be holding their “Imperial Valley Harrvest Bowl” at 5 Crowns Cooling on October 12, 2013. Sponsors can spend up to $5,000 on special seats and other bonuses, the proceeds of which will help families and individuals with meals.
The Film Commission will be having their 3rd annual Film Festival on August 2-3 this year. In addition to showcasing films that were shot in the County, 22 local entries will be showing during the festival.
This year’s festival will have the name “The World’s Hottest Film Festival.”