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Who's benefiting from the growth?
Letter to the editor
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Editor: Richmond Hill and the surrounding area is growing at an unacceptable rate.

We lack the infrastructure to continue to enjoy what we all have known as a more or less idyllic lifestyle. We are rapidly becoming what we can clearly see in the city of Pooler — a town whose traffic problems give consideration to its inhabitants to flee to Bryan County.

Who approves our growth rate and why are we building, building, building? All this is due to poor planning by our commissioners and city council. For example, Highway 144 will be widened in 2018 and that will cause an unbelievable amount of traffic problems and congestion. Would it not be better to complete the proposed I-95 exit at Belfast Keller Road first to relieve the expected traffic congestion for the growing number of residents that live east of Richmond Hill? Will the alternate route to east Bryan County instead fall on Harris Trail whose lights and road connection with U.S. 17 cannot accommodate what we can expect?

We already tap into the Florida aquifer for our water usage and an additional water tank seems to have been installed on Harris Trail, but will that be enough for an already overtaxed aquifer system? I have smelled the waste water treatment plant off Elbow Road for the first time in my 15 years living in this area. It suggests to me that our planners have allowed growth to exceed healthy living capacity and sewage treatment capability.

And why so much growth and deforestation? Do we really need the additional tax revenue it generates and why haven’t my property taxes been reduced considering the huge amount of revenue the county receives from all these new properties?

The underlying answer to these issues can be answered by asking who profits from the over-development of our beautiful city and county and how and why and by whom are our local government representatives being influenced to destroy what everyone living here for the past decade can still recall as a quaint and beautiful and small wonderful town?

Michael Hayes

Richmond Hill

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