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RH neighborhood getting rid of ducks
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The residents of Piercefield Forest and surrounding subdivisions will soon being saying farewell to their feathered foes.
The Richmond Hill City Council on Tuesday unanimously declared the numerous ducks around Piercefield Forest and Harris Trail a nuisance so the birds can be relocated away from residential areas.
During the council’s regular meeting at city hall, Skip Youmans, Bryan County environmental health specialist, said declaring the ducks would be the only way to remove them from the neighborhood.
The state Department of Natural Resources couldn’t touch the ducks because they aren’t wild, he said, and the county’s animal control had no jurisdiction because they aren’t considered domestic pets.
“I had someone that wanted to get the ducks and take them away, but (a resident) came out and said, ‘That duck’s name is Donald …’” Youmans said.
“If they’re someone’s ducks, they need to keep them on their property. But there’s no way to do that.”
He explained that by declaring the birds a nuisance, the county would have the authority to have the ducks removed.
“These guys are making a tremendous mess,” Youmans said. “We need to do something about it.
Mayor Harold Fowler noted that the ducks were posing a health issue on the neighborhood by leaving droppings everywhere.
Council member Van Hunter agreed and said they also caused a safety hazard for drivers who often have to slam on brakes due to ducks in the street.
Youmans said removing the ducks would be of no cost to the city or the county thanks to an individual who has offered to relocate them to ponds in Screven County.
He added that it would take a couple of weeks to get his “ducks in a row” and start removing the waterfowl. Anyone removing the ducks will have to have proper paperwork from the county, as well as permission from homeowners to go on private property.
In other business, the council learned what the Bryan County Development Authority is doing to promote the Richmond Hill area.
Josh Fenn, development authority executive director, explained that Bryan County, with its two industrial parks and proximity to I-95, a railroad line and the Port of Savannah, is well positioned to attract new industry. Part of his job, he said, is to make sure companies know about Bryan County and what it has to offer in terms of economic development.
Some council members cited concern for empty retail spaces around the city.
Fenn said it is important that the authority know what space is available for retail should a company coming looking. However, he said its not the authority’s place to act as a broker for particular properties.
“We do have great businesses here, but we do need some diversity in our businesses,” Fenn said.
Sprucing up the city’s I-95 interchange might help draw in various hotels and chain restaurants, he said.
Fenn said the County Development Authority competes for businesses aggressively with neighboring counties.
“But we’re at a financial disadvantage with them,” he said.
But while development authorities in Liberty and Effingham counties may get a larger cut of their counties’ budgets, “we’ve got higher ground, we’re closer to the port, we have better schools and lower property taxes,” Fenn said.
“We offer a better product at a lower cost.”
Also at the meeting:
- Mayor Fowler presented plaques honoring the first appointed and first elected city councils.
- The council unanimously approved allocating the budgeted amount of $7,000 to the Richmond Hill Historical Society.

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