AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – While the people left Hyde Park several years ago, there are still remnants of them left, including a toy and couch. But those items were dumped there illegally.
“This year has been just like the previous year. It’s been busy. We stay busy back here,” said Col. Bill Probus with the Richmond County Marshal’s Office.
The people? Gone. But the trash is alive and well. After a recent Facebook post showing photos of illegally dumped debris, it’s obvious people are still committing environmental crimes in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
“We’ve made 18 cases here this year,” Col. Probus said. “One misdemeanor arrest, one felony arrest.”
Some of the evidence remains. We found loads of tires, mattresses, and even a boat, the same one that appeared on Facebook. And no luck finding out who it belongs to because the last time it was registered was in 2007 and the numbers have been scratched out.
And in the nearby Lombardy neighborhood where people still live and take out the trash properly, there’s illegal dumping there too.
“I think it’s an easy in and out for people who basically want to skirt the way that you’re supposed to do things,” he said. “You can come in on Dan Bowles and come out on Gordon Highway.”
It was about 2016 when the city of Augusta moved everyone out of the Hyde Park neighborhood to clear the way for a storm water retention pond. But at last check when NewsChannel 6 paid the supposedly abandoned community a visit in February, there was still dumping.
Commissioner Dennis Williams, of District 2, said the pathway to the retention pond is still in the development stage.
“It would cost several million dollars to get the project done, but there’s so many things in our infrastructure that requires attention, so sometimes you have to prioritize items and projects to get the most important ones done first,” Commissioner Williams said.
There are buildings that also need to be demolished too before we can see work begin on a retention pond. But that does not mean it’s a free for all. The Marshal has cameras you cannot see and of course, people are watching you too.
“I want to thank the citizens who do bring this stuff to our attention because it’s important,” Col. Probus explained. “We have a very limited number of people assigned to enforcement. And any extra set of eyes out there is just an advantage.”
It could be a while before Hyde Park has life again and when it does, hopefully it deters people from illegal dumping.