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.