Committee votes to jump-start Hyde Park relocation as residents complain of being sickened by stalling

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Joeanne Jones (WRDW-TV)

Joeanne Jones (WRDW-TV)

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- What's the holdup? That's the message from people living in Augusta's Hyde Park community.

A planned relocation has been stalled for months, and now some people say it's literally making them sick.

"We want out of here. What's the holdup?" asked resident Joeanne Jones.

After years of flooding in Jones' Hyde Park community, her boxes are packed.

She got a letter saying the Augusta Housing Department was moving forward with a city relocation project back in March, but six months later, nothing has happened as her home falls down around her.

"And yet they're telling you, 'Don't make any repairs' ... and you look up and this is what you see ... And when people come to your house, this is not what you want them to see," Jones said.

It's the same story in the bathroom.

"And what is this beginning to accumulate ... mold," she said.

Jones says the process is literally making her sick.

"I have COPD ... I'm on this oxygen," she said.

Take a look at the homes that line the street in Hyde Park and then right next door you come to places like Jones' home. After 54 years, she is ready to go and she is not alone. She has five pages of signatures of people saying the same thing.

"Well, keep in mind, I ain't but one commissioner. I ain't but one vote," said Commissioner Corey Johnson, who spearheaded the plan to flood the area and turn it into a regional detention pond.

"The citizens have to get out. The residents of Hyde Park have to get out. They have to call those commissioners, they have to hound them. They have to let them know we need you guys. If you don't know about it, come out here and we'll show you," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Jones was front and center as city committee members voted this week in favor of funding to jump-start the relocation process.

"I want to see some results. I want to see action," she said.

The commission takes the final vote on the funding next week.

Johnson says the relocation could as early as the first of the year.

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