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Long time coming
Rushing St. Station drainage program finally complete
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At the May 20 Richmond Hill City Council meeting, City Manager Mike Melton announced that the drainage project for Rushing Street Station subdivision has finally been completed.

Since the subdivision was built several years ago, residents have regularly been complaining to the city and to developer Lamar Smith about poor drainage which they say has resulted in near flooding and deterioration of the streets throughout the subdivision.

Melton said he knows "it’s been a long time coming," but progress was slow due to having to obtain permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and property easements from numerous residents. The easements had to be obtained in order to access the canal behind Rushing Street.

The subdivision and the streets within belong to Smith, but Melton said the drainage problem was a shared problem with the city as both the canal near the subdivision and the city canal that runs under I-95 needed to be cleaned out. Both parties contributed to the recent attempt to correct the issue. The city cleaned out 7,000 feet of ditch while Smith’s company cleaned out 600 feet.

Melton said the "cleaning out" process entailed digging down and widening the paths of water retention.

"The ditches were very narrow and shallow, but no longer," Melton said. "I think the folks in Rushing Street can look forward to no more drainage problems."

Both Melton and Smith said there is still potential for water to accumulate in the subdivision during torrential downpours, but that the potential is just as relevant with any other subdivision.

Melton said he now anticipates Smith will work on resurfacing the streets, noting that the drainage had to be fixed before this could happen.

Smith said he does have immediate plans to have the streets resurfaced, which includes pot holes being filled. He said as soon as the sub base beneath the road dries out and as he sits down with the city and is told the drainage is done to their satisfaction, the road repairs will begin.

"My contractor is working very close with the city, and let me say that the city has been very diligent in their efforts to help solve this issue," Smith said. "This is our responsibility and we recognize that. We’ve never given the city a bad road and Rushing Street will be no exception. Sometimes you just hit a few bumps in the road, but we’ll certainly be glad when this issue is solved."

Smith said he still has one more issue to address, which is lowering a pipe that is shared with the Baptist Church.

Melton also said this work is step one toward a new drainage master plan for the city. The plan looks to improve drainage throughout the city while also preparing for growth. Melton acknowledged a drainage problem near Sterling Creek as being one of the next targets for the plan.

In other business:

-Leslie Murphy of Arts on the Coast approached the mayor and council about participating in a three-hole golf challenge against members of the Bryan County Commission on June 13 at Sterling Links. An agreement was reached, and tickets are available now through the city or Arts on the Coast for $20. The proceeds will go toward building the new performing arts center at the old RHES gym.

- A resolution in support of having a referendum election to decide whether or not to allow Sunday restaurant alcohol sales was unanimously adopted. The referendum must now be approved by the Justice Department before it lands on the ballot for a special election on Sept. 16.

- RHMS student and "If I Were Mayor" essay contest winner Julia Kennedy received a trophy and certificate from the real mayor, Richard Davis in recognition of her achievement.

- Approval was granted for another Dodge Charger to be added to the police department.

- Harold Freeman was approved for a permit to open a retail pool and spa store in the old Kroger plaza. It will be in the space where Movies, Music and More used to be.

- William Wallace was approved for a permit to open a mini-storage facility next to the A-1 Motel on Hwy. 17.

- Davis read a proclamation commending Eagle Scout Christopher Jones for his achievement.

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