Local/State

Man says town "screwed" him

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Cary resident said he was upset about a road project and what it's done to his front yard, so he painted a big message across the front of his house.

"Screwed by the Town of Cary" was painted across the house on Maynard Road, just west of Kildaire Farm Road.

David Bowden said if some found the message a little offensive, it was not as bad as what he was going to write.

"My opinion of Cary isn't too high," Bowden said.

Bowden said the town raised the roadbed and tore up the front of his property. Now, water is damaging his foundation and flooding his crawlspace.

"They don't know that water runs down hill," Bowden said. "So every bit of the water that falls on this side of the street comes down, goes under my house."

Bowden, a triple bypass patient who had his toe amputated last week, can't climb a ladder. So on Friday, he paid someone $200 to paint the message.

The message has not only gotten the attention of those passing by, but Town of Cary officials as well.

They contend Bowden has had water issues for at least a decade and that part of the problem was his gutter system.

"They acted like I don't know my butt from my left foot," Bowden said. "And I know my left foot because it's only got four toes on it."

Town officials said they have actually improved the drainage and are willing to put in an additional drain to try to re-route more of the runoff.

"But Mr. Bowden has said, 'No. Stay off my property. Just pay for the house'," said Mike Bajorek with the Town of Cary.

Bowden said the only solution was for the town to buy his house.

Meanwhile, his message violates the town's sign ordinance.

He may soon be fined $500 for every day it stays up.

"I guess it'll just have to stay up there 'til they take the house," Bowden said.

Town of Cary officials said they haven't started levying the fines yet. But, when they do the fine would be $100 for the first day, $250 the second and $500 on third and every day after, until the sign is gone.

Despite the battle, Bowden is getting support from the ACLU. The group wrote a letter to the Town of Cary saying the ordinance violated the first amendment.

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