Told to put complaint in writing, man does — on his house

CARY, N.C. — Somebody told David Bowden that he needed to put in writing his complaint that water runoff from a town road project is ruining his home.

So Bowden did. In fluorescent orange spray paint. In letters 2 feet tall. On the exterior siding of his two-story white clapboard house.

"I didn't know any other way to get their attention," Bowden said Monday, as traffic slowed so passers-by could make out the message: "Screwed by the town of Cary."

Bowden blames the town for water that pools under his house deep enough to lap at the ductwork. The problem started after Cary elevated Southwest Maynard Road in front of the home.

Town officials, meanwhile, said they have tried to work with Bowden to resolve the issue, to no avail.

Mike Bajorek, assistant Cary town manager, said the town paid Bowden $5,300 for the loss of yard and trees. The city also built a retaining wall where the corner of Bowden's driveway meets the steepest shoulder of the road, and it installed drainage pipes. But Bowden said that the pipes open onto the driveway and that the water heads for the house.

"You don't have to be an engineer to know that water runs downhill," said Bowden, who's complained to his town council representative, town engineers and others.

Bajorek said the town has repeatedly offered to build a different drainage system to route the water around the house. But Bowden has refused to allow it.

At this point, he said, he doesn't want the town to stop the water. He wants Cary to buy his house, at its $170,000 tax value, plus $80,000 for his trouble. With the money, the retired convenience-store manager wants to buy a motor home and travel the country.


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