12 On Your Side: Overgrown easement cut down after News 12 airs residents' complaints

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, July 29, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- News 12 is on your side in south Augusta with an update on an overgrown easement that was causing some frustration among families living nearby. The area sat untouched for years, but neighbors tell us after 12 On Your Side investigated the issue, the problem was quickly fixed.

"Do you anticipate this coming back and being a problem again?" asked News 12 Investigative Reporter Jerome Collins.

"Yes, it will. It will grow up again," said Edna Munns.

She says but for now she can finally enjoy her backyard again after county work crews returned the easement near her house to the way it used to be.

"I know they missed about four or five summers coming to get this cleaned off," Munns said.

She says it was enough time for snakes and other unwelcome critters to turn it into their home.

So why did it take so long for the county to fix the problem?

"For a city this size, we do not have a big crew," said Abie Ladson, Richmond County Engineering Department director.

"Your concrete crew, grass cutting crew, you got your pothole crews," Ladson said.

Seven crews in total, and he says if it;s not a significant threat to people and property, expect to wait a while for your maintenance issue to be fixed.

"If it's an emergency, then we would definitely jump on something like that pretty quick," Ladson said.

News 12 showed Munns a list of county properties that are in desperate need of maintenance.

"Oh my gosh, all of this," Munns said.

The easement behind her home was on the list.

In all, 150 properties just this month alone are scheduled to have maintenance.

Meanwhile Munns says she will support the stormwater fee that the county is proposing to provide funds to hire contractors to do some of the projects.

Munns says she will pay the fee if it means not having to look at another mess behind her home.

And Munns says she has On Your Side on speed dial just in case.

"I am so happy to see that Channel 12 has helped us," Munns said.

Officials say once the rate review is finished, then it could take about a year to implement the stormwater fee, that is if residents and commissioners support the plan.

In the meantime, if you have a maintenance issue, your best bet is to call ahead and anticipate a lengthy wait time.

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