County officials discuss legal trouble caused by sinkhole - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

County officials discuss legal trouble caused by sinkhole

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For the first time since heavy rains caused Lakestone Court to collapse at the beginning of June, Columbia County Commissioners are talking about the legal trouble the sinkhole created.

"It's a can of worms," said Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross.

Cross says the gaping hole in Lakestone Court has created quite the headache for the county and 16 homeowners in the Barrington neighborhood.

Cross says they haven't been able to get a lot of work done to repair the road because of all the rain.

"The rain has terribly frustrated everybody," he said.

Cross says the apparent lack of progress is what prompted the homeowners to meet with Commissioners at the Government Center Tuesday evening.

"They didn't know what was going on even though a lot of work has been happening behind the scene," Cross, said.

Homeowners said they wouldn't talk on camera because they believe their exposure to the media has made them a target for vandals.

"Some mailboxes were damaged and I think one door was damaged with a grapefruit of all things," explained Cross.

The Sheriff says he's assigning more deputies to patrol the neighborhood to discourage people from vandalizing the properties.

The county has started repairing the road even though they don't know who's paying for it yet.

Residents say Waterford Development, the company that built the neighborhood, is closed and they owned Lakestone Court.

The county says they aren't responsible for the bill because they refused to take ownership of the road when the neighborhood was created because they didn't like how it was built on a dam.

Cross says they're weighing their options while attorneys determine who is responsible and how much the repairs will cost.

"There's a large number of families in that neighborhood where a per unit cost wouldn't be that much; it will be debated how much responsibility the county has for allowing them to open the road in the first place," he said.

Cross says one lane of traffic should be open in about 5 weeks and the entire road should be open again in 9 to 10 weeks.



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