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Area's ownership delays maintenance
Timber Trail residents becoming upset
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Earlier this month, Jeremy Hall was driving on Timber Trail in Richmond Hill when he hit a pothole and blew out a tire on his Honda Accord.
It wasn’t just the tire that needed to be replaced. The rim was bent, and there could be front end damage to the used car the 18-year-old recently bought, said Hall’s mother, Lea Hall.  
When Lea Hall approached city officials about fixing the pothole, located near the entrance of the Richmond Hill Plantation, she was told that Bryan County maintains the street. But when she approached county officials, she was told that the city maintains it.
“It was back and forth and back and forth and back and forth,” she said. “I’m just so very frustrated … Those potholes are getting larger and larger, and no one is taking care of them.”
There is a disagreement over which entity maintains Timber Trail, parts of which are located inside Richmond Hill’s city limits and also known as County Road 100.
Bryan County officials said that when the city annexed properties on Timber Trail, the road became the city’s responsibility. Officials said that the city annexed both sides of the road, but Mike Melton, the city manager for Richmond Hill, said that was not the case.
The west side of Timber Trail from Ford Avenue to Miner Drive was incorporated into the city when Richmond Hill was founded in 1963. The Bryan County Recreational Center lies south of Miner Drive, and is owned by the county, according to records.
Then there is a small section of property between the recreation center and Port Royal Road that was annexed by the city in the early 2000s, and the east side of the Timber Trail – where Richmond Hill Plantation is – was annexed into the city between 2002 and 2004, Melton said. There was also a diversion on Timber Trail, between the recreation center and the plantation, which was built by the county in 2005, he said.
Therefore, the city did not annex both sides of the road, and Timber Trail is a county road, Melton added.
The city council would also have to pass a resolution to take over the maintenance of any road, he said. 
“That hasn’t been done,” for Timber Trail, Melton said.
Phil Jones, the administrator for Bryan County, said it is his understanding that when land on both sides Timber Trail was absorbed into Richmond Hill, it “in fact became their road.”
According to Georgia’s annexation law, “if a municipality annexes both sides of a county road right of way, the municipality shall assume the ownership, control, care and maintenance of that property unless the county and municipality agree otherwise.” 
Jimmy Burnsed, the chairman of the Bryan County Commission, said that when parts of the road were annexed into the city, “it was our belief that it became a city street.”
Both Bryan County and Richmond Hill officials said that they are meeting and are trying to work out a resolution. Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said that the city does not want to accept the road until it has been brought up to its standards.
“This is definitely something that the city and county need to work out,” he said. “There’s got to be a solution to the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Hall said she was would like some financial compensation for her son’s damaged car. She also said that she wants the pothole fixed for sake of other drivers’ safety.
“That’s my biggest concern,” she said.
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