Savannah Riverkeeper and Jones Creek take Columbia County to court

Savannah Riverkeeper and Jones Creek take Columbia County to court

EVANS, GA (WFXG) - The lawsuit by Savannah Riverkeeper and Jones Creek Golf Club against Columbia County and CSX continues.

"Essentially, we've been going through a lawsuit with Columbia County and five other defendants," said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.

She said she's pleased with the latest move in the case.

"We all went and had a hearing," said Bonitatibus. "A lot of the experts we put forth were being challenged by the defendants and we had a pretty significant win."

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 because of the choked and deteriorating Willow Lake in Jones Creek Golf Club. Bonitatibus and club officials contend CSX contributed to erosion by not maintaining a culvert upstream from the lake, and they accuse the county of failing to enforce rules for erosion control.

"The flow has been altered," said Bonitatibus. "There have been a lot of different things that have happened. But that doesn't mean the creek itself couldn't become healthy again."

Bonitatibus said the case will probably end with a judge's decision.

"It would be nice if we could have settlement talks," said Bonitatibus. "I don't know that it's going to end up that way with our last two defendants so we'll move forward."

She said she looks forward to the day where the Jones Creek waterways return to what they should look like.

"If we get lucky, maybe in the next two years we'll wrap this thing up," said Bonitatibus.

Jones Creek released the following statement:

"Regarding the recent ruling from the court on our expert witnesses: although not all aspects of the order were in our favor, we believe the magistrate judge's order is appropriate and correct and we are glad to be moving forward with the litigation process."

We also reached out to Columbia County but haven't heard back.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.