Editor, The city of Richmond Hill purchased 51 acres from City Councilman Johnny Murphy, who was part owner and developer of the property, as stated in the Bryan County News.
The land is located off Highway 144 in the middle of hundreds of heavily wooded acres. The large tract would be developed into a neighborhood containing single-family homes, apartments and a storefront. The purchase of the land was announced and voted on at the City Council meeting last year. In a news article ("RH Oks purchase of land for potential downtown," Nov. 5), it was announced the city plans a bond to pay for the land, which cost $1,052,849. The city stated that there is no building planned anytime soon. In the same article, it was stated, the city of Richmond Hill purchased 51 acres from City Councilman Johnny Murphy, who was part owner and developer of the property, as stated in the Bryan County News.
Soon after, a county commissioner wrote a news article suggesting that the new county library be built on a portion of the land recently purchased by the city. Essentially, that would put the library in the middle of the woods and eventually in the middle of a continuous construction zone that would last for many years. How wrong is that?
Even more confusing is a March 17 article ("City takes step toward town center"), stating that the city has placed a purchase order for $900,000 to have a sewage lift station and roads on this same land.
This brings up questions. Since when does wildlife use toilets? Has the city issued a bond to pay for the land purchase? Does the city need another bond for this additional expenditure for a lift station and roads in the middle of woods? Does this mean the real price of the property is $1,952,849? Is there to be one or two roads — one entering from 144 opposite from Ford Plantation service entrance and forming an arc back out to 144, and another intersecting road from the arc to Brisbon Road? Is the construction of the road to be "crush and run" or paved with sidewalks so residents can walk up and smell (the roses)? If there are no plans to build anytime soon, then why, in addition to the lift station and roads, is electric, water and sewage being provided?
This is all the infrastructure required for the developer and is at the city’s expense. This development site has been plagued with problems for six to seven years. Now, it is moving forward with the city’s help.