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Mayor's goal is to get projects going in 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

(Photo)
Ann Bradshaw
Rather than looking to the past, Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw is focused on the city's future.

Nearing the midpoint of her first full term as mayor, Bradshaw acknowledged aspects of the past year have been difficult.

"The city was in a position where it had not increased utility rates in a number of years and it was creating a bad situation," she said. "No one wants to raise service rates or taxes, and it is really sad for the people of the city to have to bear the weight of all the increases in one year."

However, Bradshaw said she is looking forward to making good use out of the additional funds created by the rate increases.

In total, there are 12 stormwater, 27 wastewater and 34 water utility projects in the works that could be completed by the end of 2013.

"There is a lot of work to be done in the city, and I want to get the ball rolling on as many projects as possible," Bradshaw said. "The wastewater and stormwater projects may wait until later in 2010 because we have to let the revenues build up a little so we don't pay for something we can't afford."

One of the biggest projects Bradshaw said she is looking forward to seeing the start of in 2010 is the construction of the new water tower at Craig Park.

Construction of the water tower was originally slated to begin in January 2010, but a couple of elements have pushed the start date back to the spring.

"We switched to Kenna Consulting, Indianapolis, to do our grant writing because we felt they would move in a more timely manner, and they have proved they can do the job very well with all the hard work they have done with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Grant," she said. "Also, it can be hard to start a major project like that in the winter months with the ground frozen, but I can't see the work starting any later than Spring."

Bradshaw added the other major project the city will try to get up and running in the next year is the Pogues Run detention pond, which must be created before the state will begin the United States 40 project.

"There is a lot of work to be done, but we are hoping to be able to purchase the necessary easements for the project in 2010, and complete the detention pond by the end of 2011," she said. "It has been difficult to get started because funding has been an issue, but so has getting through all the red tape involved."

Continuing to work well with county officials for the overall improvement of the county's economic status is also high on Bradshaw's list of goals for the upcoming year.

"We are really blessed to be able to work so well with the county toward achieving goals," she said. "Hopefully, together we will be able to improve the Interstate-70 interchange so it will attract more business and create more jobs for both city and county residents."

According to the city's capital improvement plan, estimated cost of the various projects have factored in a 10 percent inflation increase for each year leading up to 2013, which allows the city to better plan for the future.

Although the annual inflation rate has fluctuated between 1.6 and 3.8 percent since 2000, Bradshaw said the higher estimates could be beneficial in the future.

"We factored in the inflation at 10 percent so we could try to better predict project costs on the high end," she said. "The projects could come in at lower costs than we are projecting, which could leave funding available to put on other projects and possibly complete those quicker. Right now, we are planning for the worst-case scenarios when it comes to costs so we are prepared for them rather than waiting and finding out the funding is not there to do a project at all."

She added there are no plans to institute increases on any other rates in the near future.

"Barring a major incident, I can almost guarantee there will be no other rate increases in 2010," she said. "We have the Capital Improvement Plan in place, which sets out the many projects the city plans to complete with the recent increases, and we are focused on improving the city's infrastructure. Plus, we are also looking into more grant possibilities and other funding alternatives."

Above all, Bradshaw said her highest priority for 2010 and beyond is continuing to do what she can to improve the city and help the residents as much as possible.

"The main focus at all times is to try and do what is best for the city as a whole," Bradshaw said. "As always, my door is open for residents to come in and voice their concerns or provide suggestions for improvements, and if you can't make it down, feel free to call City Hall and we will do what we can to help."

To contact Mayor Bradshaw, call City Hall at 443-2221 or e-mail her at ann@brazil.in.gov.


Comments
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These plans sound very good, its my hope the citizens can all come together and get behind the advancement of Brazil, and differences can be heard through communication with give and take on opposing sides, attacks and false information that gets spread through the community actually have a negative effect on everyone. Happy twenty ten to everyone, and may the town prosper, it benefits us all.

-- Posted by Soni on Sat, Jan 2, 2010, at 12:47 PM

I think one of the most important things would be to look for higher paying jobs in this community instead of the barely surviving wages in this area you know that might really improve the way the community looks if the citizens could afford it.the only thingI can see is happening is everything but wages going up ,so where ddoes this leave the people, remember Mayor you have to think about the people first and what they can afford thats your job to do

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Sat, Jan 2, 2010, at 2:56 PM

One of the top priorities should be repairing all of the fire hydrants that are out of order. Someone is going to die because of the Citys negligence and that will be on your conscience.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Jan 2, 2010, at 6:56 PM

I would have to agree about the higher paying jobs in our county. Look at the biggest employers in our county: PDF, Great Dane, Technifab, and etc. These places barely pay you more than minimun wage. If you want a decent paying job you have to be willing to drive to Indy. I dont understand how other smaller communities are able to attract business and ours is not. I have to wonder what is going on with the counties so called leadership. Offer tax exemptions to corporations and they might actually consider this county.

-- Posted by Schraderfan on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 1:16 AM

The main reason companies that offer higher wages haven't located in Brazil and Terre Haute is lack of qualified, educated workers. The days of high school graduates or dropouts walking into factory and getting a "good paying" job is totally over. Companies today want people who can start work on day one, not need OJT. I do think that the mayor is correct in trying to upgrade the infrastructure of the town...that may help with economic development down the road. In the near future, work flipping burgers or as the greeter at Wal-mart. It is honest work and then maybe take some classes to be prepared when the new jobs arrive.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 3:45 AM

We are going to be in a world of hurt some day because of the state of our fresh water lines. Most lines in Brazil are approaching 100 years old including the mains that run from the Big Walnut. We as a city cannot afford to wait till they completely fail, or we will be in the same position as we were when the new sewer lines were put in (very costly). Why do we have several people who work in the water department and do nothing but fix leaks. We have all been affected by them time and time again.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 6:48 PM

if good help cannot be found in brazil, how do you explane all of the people who drove to indy for years , allison, chevy, ford, navistar,chrysler,bridgeportbrass,just to name a few. looks to me like virginia doesnt know what she is talking about.

-- Posted by nobob on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 9:48 PM

Thank you nobob It just ticks me off when you see a guy with three or four children working his behind off at one of these places and he has to be on state assistance. Then on the other hand you have the owners who all live with their families in St. Andrew's drive Mercede's and Audi's while their workers are the one's who allow them to live their lifestyle. I know I probably seem like a socialist to some people but I'm a firm believer in earning a fair wage. I understand the argument behind not having an education. I have a Bachelor's degree and can not find work at this time. The economy sucks but that is due to NAFTA. The decent paying jobs went to other countries. Something has to be done or this country is done.

-- Posted by Schraderfan on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 2:39 AM

Schraderfan, you are correct about NAFTA. And lets all remember here folks before this gets to be a political fight...NAFTA had significant support from both sides of the aisle. So this isn't a democratic or republican issue, it's what you get from your elected officials once they become adjusted to "the Washington way" of doing things. Clinton was in office and signed NAFTA into law, but ALL the former living presidents at that time, were in favor of NAFTA. Clinton's predecessor, George HW Bush being at the forefront.

Look beyond the traditional democratic/republican debate on this.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 11:31 AM

Nobob, you completely missed what virginia said. Perfect example.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 4:57 PM

lee thall what dont you understand about good workers in brazil going to indy.? you must be one of the highschool dropouts

-- Posted by nobob on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 8:37 PM

The "good jobs" referenced to by nobob might be decent paying but they are basically push-button jobs; meaning all the workers do is stand on an assembly line and push a button - no skill required. Do these jobs really warrant the wages procured for them by the unions? When these wages were negotiated do you really think the business owners paid for the increases? No way!!! They were passed along to the end used (customer). When the customer became tired of paying such high prices they quit buying products and when products are no longer sold companies must shut down or move to where labor is cheap (NAFTA). All a vicious circle.

By the way, what is the main goal of a business owner, whether it is Irsay with the colts, gates with Microsoft, and mom & pop at the local five and dime? It is to make money for themselves; not to provide a good product or good customer services. If they are successful and want to live in St. Andrews and drive a European car, they have every right to do so.

-- Posted by madman36 on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 12:37 PM

Nobob, from the looks of your posts, you shouldn't accuse anyone of dropping out of school.

And once again, you missed virginia's point.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 9:29 PM


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