Augusta Commission to vote on moving community plagued by contamination

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The pictures tell the story -- protests and caution signs warning of health hazards in Augusta's Hyde Park community.

Bishop L.A. Green says the area has battled decades of supposed visible -- and in some cases, fatal -- side effects of alleged contamination.

"This has always been a matter of life and death," Green said. "People have always been dying because of the chemicals and the waste that was out there in Hyde Park."

Now city leaders say the money is there to begin relocating the more than 70 families who call Hyde Park home.

"I think it's a relief for everybody," said Commissioner Corey Johnson. "They have been through so much, Chris."

While years of testing the soil has proven inconclusive, Johnson says the plan is to turn the low-lying area into a retention pond.

"I just thank God i was able to get the consensus of my colleagues," he said. "They really put together a pretty good plan to help."

Green says they've heard it all before.

"They are tired of talk," he said. "They want to see some action now."

And he has a message for city leaders.

"If these people are not relocated, Mr. Johnson is going to have himself between a brick and a hard place," he said.

So where is the money coming from? Well, the city wants to take $4 million in SPLOST funding to begin moving families.

Coming up at 11 o'clock, News 12 will have more on how this whole thing could work.


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