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Increase needed?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

(Photo)
Ann Bradshaw
* Due to recent boil orders, officials believe water rate increase may be necessary

The City of Brazil may have justification for considering raising its water rates.

After a second water main break, and subsequent boil order, occurred Christmas Day, Mayor Ann Bradshaw spoke with The Brazil Times about the need for increased rates.

"We have to adjust with the times," she said. "It is difficult to cover the cost of things today with the same rates we were charging in 1993."

Bradshaw elaborated by saying there is a definite need to not only replace water lines -- many of which are up to 50-years-old -- but to also replace the water tower.

"When the city had the tower checked three years ago, we were told it could spring a leak, and we have been financially unable to check it again since then," Bradshaw said. "The tower has been rusting for several years and it is creating a serious situation."

The Common Council of the City of Brazil has been reviewing a proposal for new rates on water consumption, which would increase the average water customer's rate approximately 87 percent. For outlying areas that purchase its water from the Brazil utility -- Carbon, Center Point, Harmony and Knightsville -- the rates could go up as much as 167 percent because the proposal includes dropping the seventh price tier, which those areas currently are utilizing.

Brazil City Water Superintendent Jake Raubuch said the break of a 4-inch water main, near the intersection of State Road 340 and Union Street, was probably going to happen sooner or later.

"It was a really old line," he said. "Chances are it was probably leaking a little bit prior to it breaking."

Raubuch added the line also had a good amount of corrosion, which could also be happening with other lines in the city.

"With the amount of corrosion present in that line, it was running more like a 3-inch line, which causes the pressure to rise," Raubuch told The Brazil Times. "Things like this present a pretty strong case for the potential water rate increases so we can repair and replace many of the older lines to help prevent this from happening as much in the future."

Typically, boil orders are in effect for at least two days after a break occurs while officials conduct tests to ensure the safety of the water. However, the Christmas holiday has slowed the process.

"The city and state boards of health were closed down because of Christmas," Raubuch said. "We did the first Bac-T test Sunday and will conduct the second Monday. Once we get those done, we will send them to the State Board of Health for their review."

Raubuch was confident the results would come back favorable and the boil order could be lifted as early as Tuesday afternoon.

"We've been looking at the chlorine levels since we got the tower back on Thursday, and everything good so far," he said.

"I'll be able to call the state Tuesday afternoon and I hope the results will come back satisfactory."

The current boil order affects all customers of the Brazil water utility.


Comments
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Lets get the raised rates so we can get this fixed! Sometimes you have to pay a little more to get better services.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Sun, Dec 28, 2008, at 6:22 PM

We now have to pay for all of the years of neglect. Most of our former elected officials kept putting off any meaningful replacement plan. Now we have to face the hard facts that our water system is falling apart at the seams.

I know that the rate increase will be a burden on many. I too am on a fixed income supplimented with a part time job but I realize that it must be done.

Safe, clean water is a must. Not only for future growth but for our present needs.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Sun, Dec 28, 2008, at 7:31 PM

WATER RATE INCREASE

BAD CITY MANAGEMENT

BAD WATER LINES

BAD ROADS

NOTHING FOR KIDS TO DO

NINE UNSOLVED MURDERS IN LAST TEN YEARS

WHAT A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!

-- Posted by ccc on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 7:31 AM

ccc you're welcome to leave any time you please, I doubt anybody is holding you back.

Ann I will back any plan you have of raising the water rates if it means fixing the major problems we have with the lines; being on a boil order once a month is very annoying.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 9:16 AM

Brazil's poorly maintained water system is a small example of what has happened to our entire country's infrastructure. We've been living at higher standards than we can afford and keep putting off maintenance in order to live better right now. The mayor is attempting to be responsible and fix something that has been allowed to decay under other administrations. Kudos to her, but be aware that this is going to have to happen at every level, from our local schools to our federal highway system. We have been living with relatively low taxes and fees while other countries have been taking better care of their schools and highways, government buildings and waterlines. Get ready to tighten your belts whether you live right in Brazil or anywhere else in the country. The water lines are just a preview of what's to come. We didn't pay as we went along so now we are going to have to pay for what we didn't for about the last 12 years.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 9:42 AM

I really dont think my belt can be any tighter! Some of us are too strapped as it is! I know we need this and I too am sick of the boil orders. I just am trying not to think of water as a luxury!

-- Posted by sassypants on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 9:45 AM

ccc,

I agree. Mayor Bradshaw should have solved those murders by now!

HaHaHaHaHa...

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 9:50 AM

Its a no win situation. Let things go and watch the water system continue to decay and patch it and plug it, watch the water tower become more of an eyesore and threat to health,... or increase water rates for families and individuals in an economic downturn hoping to create a surplus to afford, in the future, to deconstruct the city by digging up streets even more, destroying new sidewalks to find salvagable water lines or place new ones underground, and raise a new water tower. What shape will the streets be in then? All this while life attempts to sustain itself around the project. This won't be accomplished in a couple of years. There is only one true solution and it is long term. I hope these problems can be solved along with the many others in the town. Lets all make sure this water rate increase does go towards fixing these things. Also, wasn't the Mayor a council member for several years. When it is insinuated that other administrations overlooked maintenance in this area why is she absolved of responsibility?

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 11:05 AM

do it lets get it fixed

-- Posted by 2dogbob on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 3:35 PM

The last thing we need is another price increase. This is just anothewr attempt to make Brazil residents poorer and still won't get any improvements to the water or streets. How many times have we heard this before with no results.

We might as well drill wells we would be money ahead.

-- Posted by John Wayne on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 8:12 PM

John Wayne and people like him are the reason why Brazil will never move forward. The previous mayor tried to get this done but Bradshaw and her twin Jim Sheese put a stop to that. Now the two of them can't stand each other, and she's the one who has to try and fix it. When it could have been fixed before. I don't understand why she gets a pass on everything. The city would have more money if she would have kept the work force where it was when Mayor Arthur left. She hired way to many people and the city has no money!

-- Posted by Partrosie on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 10:13 PM

It seems like everything is being blamed on the previous administrations. Everything from being in debt.. to poor maintenance on the water system, even misappropriation of funds has been an accusation. Didn't previous administrations update the waterworks station in Harmony and build new water storage tanks out there, didn't Mayor Arthur start the process of applying for a grant to fix the water tower? When is city government finally going to quit insinuating blame and wrong doing towards previous Mayors and Treasurers? None of these things will be easy to fix or complete, but sometimes you just have to concentrate on solving them instead of pointing fingers to distract from your own shortcomings.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 10:42 PM

I don't believe raising the water rates will solve any problems for the people of Brazil. It has been twice now in a matter of weeks that the City of Brazil has been without water. The water company owes me a new water heater because of all the garbage they put in the water to make it safe for drinking! There was at least a foot of calcium deposit in the bottom of my tank and both the heating elements were coated with that crap and burned out my heater which by the way was only a year old! I will be sending the water company the bill for my new heater! My water softner couldn't keep up with what is being deposited in the water system! We had no water on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and our plans with family had to be canceled! I bet the Mayor and the town board had water though and enjoyed their families on that day! I do thank the Men and women at the water company though for going out on the Holiday to try to fix this never ending problem! I think the increase should come out of the Mayors budget and not out of our pockets!!!!!! Why I EVER moved to this town, I will NEVER know!!!!

-- Posted by clgruener on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 7:24 AM

I am in Iraq right now, just thought I'd pop in a comment for everyone in Brazil. BRAZIL HAS WATER, and we usually have good water. Stop your crybabying and pay up for some modern advancments other countries only dream about. SHUT UP AND PAY YOUR BILL AND DRINK YOUR WATER. By the way, water is a luxury.

-- Posted by Sgt Eisele on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 11:58 AM

All of these comments about the water, how long have the people complaining lived in Brazil? Mayor

Bradshaw inherited the water problems from the previous mayors whom did nothing but look the other way. Ann cannot be expected to do magic with the budget that she has. Everyone is thanking the water employees, which needs to be, but also remember that Mayor Bradshaw lives in this community too. Ann put aside her Christmas plans with her family to call all of the proper agencies to inform them about the water break on Christmas, and also kept the media informed of the progress!

Now come on Ann is not a miracle worker, and she is not a detective. If Mayor Bradshaw has that many job titles, then she deserves a raise.

Thank You Ann, anyone who lives in Brazil better be blaming the administration from way back, when the water and sewer pipes were installed CHEAPLY and WRONG to save money, way back as far as when Mayor Pickett was in office. Do the research. Don't put the blame where it don't belong.

-- Posted by busymomandstudent on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 1:26 PM

How can anyone blame the Mayor for the murders not being solved. Mayor Bradshaw lives in Brazil too. Don't you thank that she wants her family to feel safe? Where in her job description does it say that she is a detective? Where do you people live? I have lived here for 35 years, good and bad. This city is no more corrupt than any other. But, the difference is the citizens for the most, care about people and family and our surroundings.

If you don't like it here, move, no one is keeping you here against your will.

PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS!

-- Posted by busymomandstudent on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 1:37 PM

Lets not raise rates just because they haven't been raised since 1993. Lets see justification.

A rate proposal should include a plan of action. What are you going to do with the money? Give water employees a raise or actually update/upgrade the water system?

-- Posted by chouser on Wed, Dec 31, 2008, at 8:44 AM

I don't believe all previous Mayors have looked the other way on the water problems. The same grant for the water tower that was discussed in the paper several months ago was one that Mayor Arthur initiated action on. Mayor Crabb did all he could while in office also. There has been attention given to improvements in the past. We can't blame the previous administrations for everything can we? While Pickett was Mayor the lines weren't as old as they are now, they should have been repaired during that time instead of replaced. The water tower wasn't in the shape it is now in the 70's and 80's. All these Mayors and those before them had less money to work with than we do now, but things also cost more. This is just an enormous project that is being considered. Replace aging water lines, Replace the water tower. All of it is needed but how much of it will actually materialize. Will this rate increase even be able to fund it? I agree there needs to be an advertised in depth plan of how the project will be handled and a study of how much funding the increase in rates will really create for this long term project. We are being asked to take an increase just because we haven't had one in a while. Of course its implied that it will go towards the fixing and improving the water system but will it? The length of time it will take to complete a project of this magnitude its possible that government will lose track of what the money was actually supposed to go towards and we will still be paying for the increase for years to come. We're not going to get this fixed by blaming anyone. Especially those that are gone from this earth.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Wed, Dec 31, 2008, at 11:05 AM

That's true, we shouldn't blame anyone for the problem we have right now. It's just an upgrade that is now completely necessary.

chouser:

How much justification do you really need. The fact that we have had several major water breaks in the last month is complete justification for a new water system. The fact that it happened on Christmas again justifies this. How about the fact that we are losing money at the current water rate. That's enough justification for anyone with common sense. Thankfully we have leaders that have common sense and are getting the ball rolling.

There is a plan of action. The engineers have a plan and that has been addressed and is public record--that being how I have seen and know about it. Part of the "plan of action" is the water rate increase. According to the plan the money goes toward a new water tower and new water lines. I can assure you the water employees aren't going to get a raise out of that money. They need every bit of it to upgrade the water system. You can get all that information at the meetings, which I have attended all city council meetings.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 2:19 AM

Sgt

I mean no disprespect what so ever... but the country you are defending over there, the USA, ... water should not be a luxury for us. We are not a third world country!

-- Posted by sassypants on Fri, Jan 2, 2009, at 2:15 PM

ccc- Wow, nine unsolved murders in ten years, that's some story. Where did all of these murders take place? They certainly didn't take place here in Brazil or Clay County. When you tell blatant lies about something, it's hard to take anything you say/type seriously.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Sat, Jan 3, 2009, at 1:29 AM

Anytime citizens rates for services are increased there needs to be clear justification. Leaks and breaks have occurred in this city for 40 years. It's an annual occurence. It does create problems for us, especially during holidays. Are regular breaks and leaks justification to increase rates? Will the increase fix the leaks and breaks? The watertower is over 50 years old. Does its appearance justify rate increases? Will it magically transform into a new gleaming symbol after we begin paying more for water? Will water lines leap from the dirt and new ones fall into their place when the City gets its increase in revenue from our pocketbooks. This is going to take major focus from of our government. If we are already losing money with current water rates, are we sure we can make up this loss and at the same time provide the improvements that are the topic of the times? Is it enough money to replace the water tower, all the water lines, repave the streets after it is over, and keep the current services in place? This plan of action is interesting. I wish it would be discussed in the local paper as much as the rate increases, maybe even at the same time. Details of this plan may help people understand the real justification behind the increase. The justification should get as much publicity as those who are behind it. We all need to be sure that we don't pay more money out for the same aging problem to never be improved, or else in four years the next city leaders will have to activate this same "plan of action" and another rate increase to fund it...again.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 11:43 AM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 6:34 AM

Sassypants it is people like you that make me want to scream!! Sgt Eisele is very right water is a luxury he is over in Iraq working his a** off so you can have the freaking water you have. Just pay the freaking increase and shut up about it. It is needed unless you continually want to have boil orders and water main leaks. Get over it, it has to be done, it really wont be that bad, life will go on. Thank you Sgt Eisele for serving and protecting our freedom.

-- Posted by piper08 on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 10:39 PM

Piper..... We agree on something. Your attitude makes me want to scream as well.

My point was that becasue of people like this Sgt and other brave soldiers, many of which are my family members, we do not have to think of water as a luxury. We are not a third world country. I do not have a problem with raising the water rates. I just am saying that if price hikes keep occuring, then water becomes a luxury. I work. I am on no assistance. I am a single mother of two and with utilities hiking rates... I have to pick and choose.

Sorry that my right to express my opinion upset you to the @@ point!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 8:52 AM

Please excuse me when you see my name with no comment, but for some reason after I read this one time it will not let me read any additional comments unless I leave a comment.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 1:11 PM

I think that everyone can agree that there needs to be an update, or overhaul of the water system in Brazil. I believe the question is, what is the realistic goal of this city's Mayor, treasurer and council. What will be completed and in what time frame will it be done? What is the cost of the first phase? Are there even phases? Is it one huge project, or a series of improvements? What type of new revenue is expected from the increase in rates? Then lets compare it to the cost of the water improvement and maintenance of the system. We're not all too dumb to figure out that all the wishes and dreams of our community aren't going to happen overnight, or even in four years. Why can't the City just fully disclose what the actual engineered plan is? Is there a real plan or does it boil down to just talk for the paper, talk to keep their names in print. I guess it also gives them an opportunity to run the names of previous office holders in the mud. Some people say "get over it" "just pay it and go on". What if we all thought that way? There wouldn't be any obstacle for government to create fees and charges and place them on all of us, without justification. I really don't know if this is a bad idea or a good idea. Lets just hear the facts on this increase before we roll over and take it.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 1:28 PM


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