Debris in Lee County creek gets, Army Corps of Engineers attention -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Debris in Lee County creek gets, Army Corps of Engineers attention

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Several hundred broken bricks and demolition material pushed into the Kinchafoonee Creek in Lee County caught the attention of federal officials.

They want it cleaned up. Lee County issued a Notice of Violation to the new land owner in August, giving him ten days to clean up the debris. He missed the deadline, but the landowner met Tuesday with the EPD and Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to comply.

The Kinchafoonee Creek in Lee County has a lot of beautiful, undiscovered secrets, but it's a fairly well known landmark on Bunny Pritchett's former property, off Creekside Drive that now has the attention of federal officials.

"We work real hard not only to maintain but improve the appearance of our creeks here in Lee County," said Jim Wright, Lee County Code Enforcement Officer.

This is how what's commonly referred to as Dracula's Castle looked this spring, take a look at it now bricks, broken cement, metallic pipes in the water, causing a half dozen complaints to be made to Lee County Code Enforcement.

"The dumping of material into that creek is just not acceptable," said Wright.

We caught up with the new owner Bob Newsome, on the property. He admits, they knocked the staircase down, because erosion made it a liability.

"Obviously we were never going to leave it like that, but we didn't know what to do exactly because once we take the brick up, we've got to put something back down to stop erosion," said Robert Newsome, the developer.

He claims only a few bricks fell in the creek from the demolition, pictures from the opposing bank tell the tale. Code enforcement says whether it's on the bank or in the creek, it's wrong.

"I'm not dumping anything I'm trying to save some body's life, do you think I would tear up this place and leave it like this? questioned Newsome.

Newsome's still developing the land, now he's awaiting word from the Army Corps of Engineers.

"We know what we got to do and it will, the brick, will be out and back where they need to be but we didn't want to disturb anything without them telling us what we need to do," said Newsome.

Code enforcement says as long as Newsome complies he won't be taken to court. No time table has been laid out on when that clean up will begin.

The developer told me he hopes to sell property on either side of the staircase and replace the staircase so property owners can have access to the creek.

Lee County's Code Enforcement says not only could the developer face local fines, but there could be separate state penalties if the debris isn't cleared from the creek.

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