[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 65°F  
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resident angry with city response

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw
The recent rain and flooding in Brazil has at least one resident fed up.

During the audience comments portion of Wednesday's meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil, resident Mark Bedwell spoke about his concerns regarding the lack of progress.

"I have lived here for 20 years and I am concerned that nothing is being done," Bedwell said. "The storm drains fill up and the water and sewage comes across the street into my garage and crawl space. I have been complaining to the city and media for 18 years and nothing has been done."

Mayor Ann Bradshaw said ditching had been done in the past, and Knust Excavating was assessing the area Monday.

"Right now, we are waiting on an update from Knust," she said.

Bedwell was not pleased with Bradshaw's response stating he has had engineers and project foreman review his South Franklin Street property in the past as well.

"This is a project that will take extensive repairs, which is why I think the city has refused to do anything," Bedwell said.

He explained his home sits directly on top of the Pogues Run tunnel and he has flood insurance, but it does not cover his garage since he is using it as a home business.

"I understand the problems in 1993 and 2008, but on April 19, we had 2 inches of rain," Bedwell said. "There is no excuse as to why the city storm drains can't control that, other than it's an inadequate system."

Council President Sam Glover and council member Steve Lamb, who both stated this is the first they have heard of this particular situation, attempted to request time to receive the report from Knust so they can review the options, which were unsuccessful.

Council member Brad Deal offered up another possible reason for the flooding.

"Pogues Run was put in before the Kroger parking lot, the Edgewood subdivision and other neighborhoods," Deal said. "Essentially, concrete rivers have been created because if there is no ground for the rain and water to soak into, it will go to the lowest area."

Deal added the state installed the existing retention pond, which he and others in the audience agreed is not near big enough.

City Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens added state and federal organizations are recently realizing it was also a mistake to build housing on top of creeks and ditches.

"There is a program, which is not yet available to us, that opens up a grant opportunity to allow municipalities to purchase properties in order to tear them down and restore waterways," Gibbens said. "Pogues Run was created as a (Works Progress Administration) project in the 1920s or 30s to put people to work, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency knows now it was a bad idea to build houses on top of those areas, which is why they are making these type of funds available."

Gibbens also stated the installation of additional drainage is included as part of the United States 40 Project and the city is also progressing toward creating an additional retention pond, which would also slow the flow of runoff through Pogues Run.

Council members continued to ask for Bedwell's patience for another month while they await results from Knust, which was not an adequate answer for Bedwell, who kept asking if the results would also come with a plan of action.

"I have been patient and waiting so long that it is running thin," Bedwell said. "I am not upset with anyone personally, but I don't think anyone of the council has had to drag their family and kids out of this waste in the middle of the night. It's to the point that I don't know what to do because I have been told it would be fixed numerous times over the years."

Glover emphasized there was nothing the council could do in that moment, and would have to wait on the report from Knust.

"We have to go through proper channels in order to do something as well," Glover said. "All we can do at this time is wait for the report and go from there."

The next meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Your story is disheartning,I admire Mark for speaking out and I for one will watch our council members to see if they follow through with anything,voters do remember!! Hang in there Mark and hopefully voters like myself will follow this also.Lord knows its time for something to happen to stop this flooding. Council members beware we are watching!!!

-- Posted by clycogrl on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 9:05 PM

do what everyone else has to do, buy a sump pomp, if its been 18 yrs. its time to quit blaming others and try and fix your property. i dug a ditch for water to drain. bottom line its your property!

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 9:35 PM

I like Mr. Bedwell and many others this city feel your pain...our garage and crawl space have flooded three times already this season...sleepless nights, hurry up get boots on move the car up the hill a little ways...watching hopoing and praying that it stops raining soon...our yard has small holes from where the old drain pipes were, I say old like we have any at all now...the gravel that we just bought for the pretty penny of $400 has washed away everytime it rains we our outside with a shovel digging our gravel back...I like may others would like to know who is going to replace these things I have lost so much from the garage this was our extra media room....who is going to buy the bleach to clean the mold this time we are out of money???

-- Posted by razldazl on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 9:42 PM

I totally understand your heartache, as the north side of town floods from the storm water filling the sewers and we end up with toilet paper, tampons etc in our houses, garages and yards. After Mayor Crabb told me "tough sh!&", I realized that getting anything done in this town is like charging the gates of Hell with a handful of icecubes!! People can bust on Pickett, but he did things and at least had a street department who worked. It's a lost cause my friend, so we are moving out of the city to the country, only way out!!! Maybe in like 100 years they will get around to addressing your problems, who knows maybe your great, great, great grandchildren will see your wishes materialize?? NOT!!!

-- Posted by drumz on Thu, May 12, 2011, at 9:49 PM

Good work by City Planning administrator Stacy Gibbens here - its interesting that poor planning for water on the north side in the 1930s plays a big part in todays problem. I guess we're fortunate that federal stimulus funds are available to fix a local problem and create some local jobs? Maybe thats because a democrats in the white house huh?

-- Posted by NorvalJrJr on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 12:19 AM


the bottom line is: IT IS MY PROPERTY! why don't you come down here in person? i will show you and explain to you, what the problem is! if i bought all the sump pumps in brazil, it would not do any good! i have dug ditches, brought in fill and whiterock, and built berms to stop the runoff from the city. but, the unlawful stormwater runoff keeps washing them away and destroying them. i have cleaned out nearyby storm drains and ditches for years. yes it is my property, i do take care of it; and there are also rights that come with that responsibility. i am not a deadbeat; i take alot of pride in what i have been able to accomplish. my wife works full time, i work at a shop in terre haute; and run a bussines out of my garage. but, i am no longer going to take the destruction of my property by the "gross negligence" from city of brazil and it's so called administration.

do you know that it is unlawful for the stormwater runoff to enter upon my property? do you know there are congressional and presidential acts, federal rules and regulations, federal statutes, e.p.a. guidelines and state statutes that address this issue? do you know that the city of brazil, is in violation of too many of these to mention? do you know that there are also constitutional issues involved in this matter? do you know that there is a serious underlying problem involved in this issue? do you know that problem is beyond what surface repair will take care of? do you know that it is not just my property being destroyed? there are my neighbors and many others with this same problem!

so instead of your snide comments hidden behind a screenname. fix your broken care button! why don't you contact me in person and see what the actual truth to this problem is? please feel free to contact me at any time

mark bedwell, 304 s. franklin st., brazil, 812-691-6176.

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 3:45 AM

Sounds like poor planning and maintenance both short and long term. Still many people don't want "government telling us what we can and can't build"

This is perfect example of why community planning and zoning and building permits are so important.

Building homes on top of underground waterways is just stupid. Eventually they are going to erode. Anyone ever looked at Grand Canyon???

Possibly too late to avoid spending a lot of money to correct one individual's problem but certainly future decisions to avoid future problems can be taken more seriously and the community will stop being so short sighted about what gets built where and also demand a minimum standard in both city and county along with certificate of occupancy to assure that the structure is safe and sound BEFORE pone moves into it.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 8:17 AM

I appreciate the honesty and integrity of Mark Bedwell to call to action City officials to do their job. If I get pulled over for speeding and use the excuse I didn't know what the speed limit was, I still get a ticket. I am not happy with the excuse from city officials of not knowing about this problem in Brazil. They must not know because they do not care to know. This problem was apparent years ago when a small river flowed through the streets and property in the Ridge Street area fell in to the storm drains. Only partial repairs were made at that time. Anyone signing off on a project without making sure the job was complete is not doing their elected duty.

-- Posted by sickhorse on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 8:18 AM

Move???? That will not solve this. Mr Bedwell would have to disclose these issues to the buyer, therefore the value of his house (and others in the same situation) will be low..low..low. To suggest he move is a crazy solution! The problem needs fixed. Why don't you buy his house at the reduced "soggy" price and see what a good deal that is....maybe use it as a rental investment? Yeah, being responsible for the damages would certainly make a difference in your attitude. Rolling my eyes!! Mr. Bedwell...sorry for their lack of understanding and common sense!

-- Posted by abbccc on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 9:11 AM

never critize unless you have a better solution. i hear a lot of complaints but no solutions.we can aways raise the sewage bill to pay for new sewers. We can blame God because it rains.

-- Posted by grays on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 9:23 AM

Sounds like the only ditching going on here are the ones ditching the accountability to fix Mr Bedwell's problem!

-- Posted by Bzlobserver on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 11:46 AM

I have to agree that moving is not the answer. From what is stated, there is a lot of property that is affected by Pouge's Run and other drainage routes. No doubt, poor drainage also affects city infrastructure such as roads. 18 years is a long time to deal with a problem such as this for the individual, and, while I understand the city's past and present funding dilemma, this looks like it should be the next major project for the city.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 12:26 PM

Jen, little compasion i have but if you have a problem for 18 yrs, come on.yes the water and sewage system sucks in brazil, but its been like this for 20+ years that i know of.

Madmark, you speak of so many violations but nothing is being done? its called follow up. its been going on for 18 years and you still complain.

Election time is coming up! dont sit in the bleachers complaining , Jump into the Race.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 12:35 PM

BrazilResidents2003, if you would at least try to use proper grammar and spell check, your posts might be taken a little more seriously.

-- Posted by BWare on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 2:12 PM

I live in the affected area and have had water in my house on three occasions. I would love to move, but can't afford to because I will NEVER get my money back out of it. Additionally those who have live in these areas have no peace of mind whatsoever. And even if you have flood insurance no one wants to go through the inconveniences that go along with all of this destruction especially when it is avoidable to begin with.

The city originally said in 1993 that they could not build or maintain a system to handle a "100 year" storm. OK, I'll give them that. But what we have had in the last month is a slightly more than a 2-inch rain, and a slightly less than 2-inch rain. Yet our system can't handle that! That is unacceptable and is certainly neglect.

..."Gibbens also stated the installation of additional drainage is included as part of the United States 40 Project"...they are required to do this, as well as any time they allow major development to occur (which hasn't been the case)..."and the city is also progressing toward creating an additional retention pond, which would also slow the flow of runoff through Pogues Run."...Really? Again this is what we were told in the first council meeting following the storm of Aug. 17th, 1993. 18 years and no tangible evidence of anything, and yet we are to believe the city is "progressing". Two current council members admitted in the meeting that they weren't even aware there was a problem! Yeah, that's progress.

"There is a program, which is not yet available to us, that opens up a grant opportunity to allow municipalities to purchase properties in order to tear them down and restore waterways," Gibbens said. "Pogues Run was created as a (Works Progress Administration) project in the 1920s or 30s to put people to work, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency knows now it was a bad idea to build houses on top of those areas, which is why they are making these type of funds available."...this needs to happen!

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 3:02 PM

I haven't lived in Brazil a long time. Feel free to correct my mis-information. When I asked someone why the streets were in the shape they are I was told about a court case which required the city to spend any available funds to repair the sidewalks and to make them accessible. Before the ruling that mandated the sidewalk repair, there was a resident who asked the city to at least start the repair/replacement. The city said no. The real government ruled the city had to and because of this ruling all other projects had to be put on hold until this project was complete. With that information, I wonder if the city could find itself in a similar case due to the present drainage violations. If the city continues to not respond and a federal ruling mandates the drainage updates, all available funds will go to make it happen and all other city issues will once again go on hold. I would think the city would at least start and therefore progress at their leisure instead of forcing a law suit. Please correct me if I am wrong and misinformed, but please be nice about it.

-- Posted by sickhorse on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 3:22 PM


-- Posted by 4 ft. nuttin on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 4:30 PM

i feel your pain mr bedwell. we live on a county rd south of town, and have a water line running at the edge of our property that breaks several times a year. we have had a spot in the yard wash out big enough for our children to stand in up to their waist. every time we ask when it will be fixed, were told it's not a priorty, and the leak gets so bad you can watch the water bubble out from under the road. the county has "patched" the hole in the yard, but until the pipes are replaced we will continue to have the problem. the worst part about it though, is that over the winter, when we reported a leak, we had to wait over 2 months before it bacame a "priority" and could be fixed. by then not only did we have a hole in the yard, but our drive had washed out as well. the county would not replace our drive, only "patch" the yard. one of our neighbors is on the county council, and you can bet that when he had a leak in front of his drive, it was repaired within a week though. no holes in his yard or driveway. maybe the way to get anything repaired in this area is to be in some type of office????

-- Posted by brazil resident 2011 on Fri, May 13, 2011, at 10:08 PM

Mr. Bedwell, I'm sure when you bought the house 18 years ago, the gentleman that lived there told you about the prior flooding situation because the house sits on top of a waterway. The problem didn't just start 18 years ago, It has been that way for about 80 years. So why, knowing that your house floods, would you put a Motorcycle Shop in your garage knowing that it was in a flood area? I'm just saying, if it is such an issue for you, MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND AND GET OVER IT!!!!

-- Posted by classof2006 on Sat, May 14, 2011, at 9:52 AM

What I have been observing for the past several years in much of local government, not just within Clay County, either, is a lack of long-term planning. Even when there is a relatively long-term plan in place, such as the CCSC 10-year Building Maintenance Plan, it is ignored. This puts the timely accomplishment of planned projects at risk and leave us jumping from one "emergency" repair/replacement to the next one that rears its head.

I have asked the school corporation for its building replacement plan and I have asked the City of Brazil for its comprehensive street re-paving plan. Neither of these plans appear to exist, yet every building in the school corporation will need to be replaced and every street in Brazil will, at some point within the next century, need to be resurfaced. To me, it appears that people cannot see beyond the present.

As with this drainage problem, many of the problems with our infrastructure have been known for decades. Why hasn't anyone planned to solve them?

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, May 14, 2011, at 11:43 AM


in response to your comment,

no, we were not informed that our home sits in a floodway; when we purchased it 20 years ago. and how do you know that we purchased it from a gentleman; and not some sweet little old lady that only lived here on sunday?

i have been working on motorcycles for over 25 years; this is my livelihood. after the flooding in 2008, city officials assures me this would not happen again and that the problem would be fixed. i obtained my retail merchant certificate after that point.

counting the cost of the home, insurance, interest, repairs, maintenance, improvements and of course taxes; we have a valued interest in our home and property. it is not just my property, there are many numerous homes and families that this issue involves. some of which, are elderly and handicapped.

we have raised all of our children in this home; there is alot of sentimental value my wife and i hold dear. my family and i have a constitutional right to own property. government has no right deprive us of that; nor to destroy what which is ours by their "gross negligence".

now due to the fact that many like you; who sit and hide behind a screen name with your little derogatory comments have done nothing but, make me more determined. you can only push a person so far; before they start pushing back. if i came to your home and did damage to your property; would you not be upset?

the main reason i will not move or be forced off this land is; COWARDS CUT AND RUN, MARINES DON'T!!!!!

feel free to contact me anytime if you wish to discuss this matter in person. mark bedwell, 304 s. franklin st. brazil, 812-691-6176

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Sun, May 15, 2011, at 2:05 AM

It was mentioned that available funds were being used to fix sidewalks. The only REASON that is true is that the person who filed that suit tried to get something done by the municipal government and was rebuffed just like Mr. Bedwell. So in order to get ANY action on his legitimate complaint, and the city was not listening, he/she had to file the suit. I think Mr. Bedwell is in the same boat. Many of you have don't understand that Mr. Bedwell was NOT told his house had this problem. Also you do not understand that it is not the rain water the subsequently drops on his property, but the run off from the CITY streets. If it was just what lands on his property, we would not be having this discussion. Unfortunately, Mr. Bedwell will have to seek out other recourse (and I know that he will) to get a resolution to this problem. I just hope those of you that say "get over it" NEVER have a problem with the city government, because then you will see just exactly what it is like to bang your head into a wall. Semper Fi

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sun, May 15, 2011, at 4:47 PM

Well this is just a thought but if your house floods once and you might think it could happen again you should do what alot of the town does,,, Blame the mayor because she obviously was the contractor that built it anyway. I mean hey it worked for those people in Louisiana when the floods came and ruined their homes,,Bush prayed for that rain and therefore he should hang. But if this has been happening to you for 18 YEARS well then maybe a mirror could reveal the scoundral responsible.Happy Blaming Season sir.

-- Posted by Save the sob story on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 12:04 AM

Save the sob story;

i love people just like you! you are so inspiring; that it truly motivates me. it's not just my home, there are many others with the same issues and problems. alot of these people are poor, handicapped and the elderly. alot of these people have been complaining for years, also. and most of the people that i have talked to, haven't been able to get anything done either.

oh and by the way, i never blamed anyone specifically. the statement of blaming the mayor, came from you.

feel free to contact me in person; if you wish to further discuss this issue. and would you please bring a mirror; that way i can see who your talking about.

mark bedwell, 304 s. franklin st., brazil, 812-691-6176

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Wed, May 18, 2011, at 2:55 AM

How is bickering and blaming the current mayor going to do anything? Yes there is a problem with the sewer system in Brazil. And yes the city is responsible to take action to fix it. However the city only has so much money. Someone mentioned raising the sewer bill to fix the problem. I think the water bills here are high enough. If there are ways to raise money, which I am sure there are government grants and such I want to know why the city is not actively seeking them. And since this problem has gone on for longer than our current mayor has been in office, perhaps people should stop and think that maybe the problem lies in the past but not the present. We have had other mayors.

We live in a town with antiquated systems. Water, sewer and probably a few others. And as much as I am sure the new water towers will be a great help down the road, what I want to know is why wasnt that money used to fix the existing problems we have?

Good luck Mr. Bedwell I hope your issue is cleared up quickly.

-- Posted by dxrs0 on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 6:48 AM


I hope that you get the problem resolved. Don't let the negative comments deter you from your goal. Best of Luck!

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 10:12 PM

Seems this news paper likes to sensor what you people read. I posted a coment about madmarkbedwell that was not out of line but was supporting Mr. Bedwell and his problem and had my account DISABLED. we'll see if they DISSABLE this account also.

People Need to Back a new Candidate like Mr. Mark Bedwell for Mayor

-- Posted by Dirty_Dave55 on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 6:28 AM

Localguy: Mr. Bedwell, being deterred by negative comments. He is a retired US Marine. It only will make him CHARGE that much harder.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sat, May 21, 2011, at 6:24 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: