Another step toward expansion of Austin municipal offices and the end of yard sale signs taped to stop signs were on the agenda of the July 28 Austin City Council meeting.

Mayor Bernie Chamberlain and aldermen Laurel Carnes, Anthony Fible, Randy Ryan, Matt Sheets, Phillip Whiting, Tammy Williams attended the meeting.

Third, and final, reading of the proposed sign ordinance was read and approved by the council, with Williams voting against it.

Under the ordinance, no one may "nail, staple, or otherwise attach or cause to be nailed, stapled, or otherwise attached any sign, poster, or billboard to any public utility pole, traffic signal or sign, or to any tree shrub, or other plant located upon the right of way."

The ordinance does not apply to signs installed by utility companies.

Enforcement of the ordinance falls to the police department and code enforcement, which includes issuing tickets and having offending signs removed.

Fines for violations range from a minimum of $50 to a maximum $500, with each day the violation is not corrected being another violation.

An emergency clause was approved, putting the ordinance into effect immediately.

In other matters, public works director John Ryan told the council that the final asbestos removal was completed on the vacant house at 204 S. Pool, adjacent to the city building.

With the site clear of asbestos, destruction of the house would begin in about a week, either on Monday or Tuesday, he said.

The cost of clearing about 150 square feet of asbestos-containing flooring was $950, Ryan said.

The city bought the property, to be used as a parking lot for the planned expansion of city hall.

After the meeting, Chamberlain said the city is waiting to hear of the status of a grant before progressing with construction of the city hall addition.

In department reports, Chief of Police Tony Bryant said that during June the department served 75 warrants, wrote 64 citations, taken 65 reports, made 42 arrests, and $4,840 in fines collected.

Bryant also reported three officers have been trained to perform field sobriety tests.

Fire chief Steve Bettis reported that the department had responded to eight medical calls, one motor vehicle accident, and one structure fire under mutual aid.

Code enforcement officer Scott Kelley reported issuing 46 notification of code violations to property owners; two citations; and 21 compliances since the June 30 city council meeting.