News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, July 6, 2012
RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. -- Thelma Hill-Foster lives just yards from a Richmond County retention pond.
"An eyesore," she said. "It brings our property value down and I live next to this thing."
She says an even bigger concern is the snakes coming from the pond.
Hill-Foster says she's called the county four times in four months to come clean up the pond. They came out a few weeks ago but only cleaned half of it.
"It makes me feel bad as a taxpayer," she said. "Clean it up; we pay taxes, and we deserve to have our property cleaned up."
City Administrator Fred Russell says the county has quite a few retention ponds, a lot of which are "tough to maintain."
"It's a continual cycle to try to get them cut, and they continue to grow back," Russell said.
He says this year is particularly challenging because the mild winter did not kill off the growth from last year. Not to mention, he says, his staff maintains more than 700 retention ponds throughout the county.
"We've got a lot of frustrated people, and we try to get to those based on the nature and if they've been calling and calling and calling, then maybe they need to escalate that and call me," Russell said.
Russell says he is looking into Hill-Foster's complaint and sent a crew to check it out on Friday.
Anyone with retention pond issues can call Augusta Cares at (706) 821-2300.