Augusta, GA – Troubles with a failing bridge and creek erosion near a local kennel created what the staff is calling unsafe conditions for animals. The owner tells News Channel 6’s Renetta DuBose that voters may hold the key to the future of his business and the safety of the pets.
A dog kennel that once sat several feet away from a portion of Rocky Creek has now partially fallen inside of it.
The bridge leading up to the business has given out a few times too.
Not once but twice the only entry way into Graced Animal Services & Kennel failed.
“It’s important so that our customers can get here so that their pets can have fun,” said Kennel Technician Amanda Hurst.
While the pets play, the nearby erosion at Rocky Creek is no laughing matter. Hurst tells us the kennel had a “beautiful stream” when it was purchased in 2008.
She said it was maintained by inmates who cleared brush and mowed the lawn. But by 2010 it turned into a nightmare.
“That’s when we started noticing sandbags and some of the erosion around our bridge and noticing more erosion around the creek bed,” she said.
Video provided by Hurst shows the flooding that happens during rains. The once beautiful creek became a danger for normal kennel operations.
“We’re losing our land. You can see it’s eroding closer and closer to our dog kennels and now it has actually washed out some of our dog kennels,” she showed us.
It has become difficult for animals rescued by the kennel to run in the exercise area due to the erosion at the creek.
Ted Earle owns the kennel.
“They promised that they would put in a temporary bridge until the SPLOST program was approved,” Earle said.
He also said the city told him the dollars to fix the creek issues were in SPLOST 6, which voters did not approve. Now, he’s hoping SPLOST 7 passes. News Channel 6 found out some of the $25 million allocated to Grading and Drainage (Stormwater) would help Graced Kennel.
“This creek runs down across the Gordon Highway. It’s not just here. This is where we’re having problems,” Earle said.
We spoke with Assistant Director of Engineering Hameed Malik and he said the city is waiting on a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. That permit will tell the city how much money is needed to fix Rocky Creek near the kennel. He said the Corps of Engineers’ approval would allow the city to rebuild the bridge and stabilize the channel and flow. Malik estimates the total cost to be around a half a million dollars.