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Board of Regents notified of mosquitoes at former gardens

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 7:35 PM
Last updated Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 10:44 AM
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Editor's note: Augusta's mosquito control unit presented a letter to the Regents citing a violation at the former Golf and Gardens on Reynolds Street. It did not issue a citation, a function of the Marshal's Office. An earlier version of this story did not make that distinction.

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Fred Koehle, the operations manager of Richmond County Mosquito Control, puts mosquitofish in a pool of water that has collected in a fountain at the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens site.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Fred Koehle, the operations manager of Richmond County Mosquito Control, puts mosquitofish in a pool of water that has collected in a fountain at the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens site.


The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is the latest target of Richmond County Mosquito Control.

The governing board was given a letter citing an environmental health violation for standing water at the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens site. What were once raised, brick fountains and a cascading, stone waterfall were collecting green and slimy rain water.

According to a letter dated Wednesday to the Board of Regents, an inspection this week discovered the water features were not operating, holding stagnant water and breeding mosquitoes.

“Every time it rains, they’re going to keep filling up,” said Fred Koehle, the operations manager for mosquito control.

The state transferred the property to the Board of Regents last year after state funding cuts forced the hall of fame to close in 2007. Maintenance of the park has been shared at different times by the city, volunteer groups and most recently, Georgia Regents University.

Because the Board of Regents are based in Atlanta, the county’s mosquito control considered the group an “absent owner.”

Board of Regents spokesman John Millsaps said while the board is the official owner of all its properties, including the old golf hall of fame site, the institutions, in this case Georgia Regents, are tasked with managing them.

“Prior to receiving notice of a violation from Richmond County Mosquito Control, we were not aware of standing water issues on the property. However, we are committed to working with the city to correct any concerns,” the university said in a statement.

On Thursday, mosquito control technicians released mosquitofish into the water to eat mosquito larvae and prevent the insects from hatching. The agency began treating abandoned swimming pools in July using mosquitofish lifted from Phinizy Swamp by scientists from the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy.

A woman who takes morning walks on the Savannah River levee adjacent to the property alerted Koehle to the standing water.

Mosquitoes breeding at the old golf and gardens site were likely a nuisance at Riverwalk and the nearby downtown area, Koehle said. Mosquitoes can reach a one- to three-mile radius of their breeding grounds, he said.

Improvements made since the property was transferred to the University System of Georgia include regular grass mowing, weed-eating, overgrown shrubbery removal, patching holes in fences and installing lighting, the university statement said.

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GnipGnop
12227
Points
GnipGnop 10/03/13 - 09:15 pm
4
3
No mosquitoes would dare

enter the precious CBD!!

Fiat_Lux
15411
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/03/13 - 09:41 pm
6
2
How nice.

They get in trouble for allowing mosquitoes to breed but get a total pass for feeding trolls and enabling ogres.

Imagine that.

TrulyWorried
14117
Points
TrulyWorried 10/03/13 - 10:15 pm
3
0
Dirty fountain

drop some of those cakes into the water (do cost money!) to discourage the mosquitoes from getting in there in the first place.

Riverman1
83725
Points
Riverman1 10/04/13 - 06:30 am
10
0
Handcuff Azziz and jail him

Handcuff Azziz and jail him like that other guy was locked up for the same thing.

nocnoc
42470
Points
nocnoc 10/04/13 - 07:03 am
4
0
A SENSIBLE QUESTION

If the real goal is killing the stopping the little pests and EVERY DAY COUNTS, because of the rate we are told they breed.

Why doesn't the bug patrol have the authority under public health ordinances to immediately correct the problem ?

A simple knock on the door -
"Hi your piece of (junk) for a swimming pool is having an orgy and you need to fix it NOW to avoid a fine. If I have to return this season, I will have a RCSO Deputy return with me, and the county will treat it and the county will bill you the ridiculous fees that a government normally charges for 5 minutes of simple work."

mikeelliott
73
Points
mikeelliott 10/04/13 - 07:56 am
8
0
GRU

It's a medical experiment. They were watching how much they gru.

my.voice
4811
Points
my.voice 10/04/13 - 08:07 am
2
0
Doesn't anyone in this town

Doesn't anyone in this town appreciate medical research? Azizzzzzzz is simply doing a study on malaria.

bdouglas
4987
Points
bdouglas 10/04/13 - 08:24 am
3
0
If they wanted it so badly,

If they wanted it so badly, they need to take care of their property just like the rest of us have to.

TrulyWorried
14117
Points
TrulyWorried 10/04/13 - 09:44 am
2
0
No problem

That fancy expensive brick wall hides it all as people drive by - you can only take a look thru the wrought iron gate - now if we could persuade the bugs to stay inside that (once) fancy place we would have no problem. Come on Dr. Azizz - you are such a genius - DO something about it!!!Go West and take them all with you??!

TrulyWorried
14117
Points
TrulyWorried 10/04/13 - 09:51 am
2
0
Just a thought

That peculiar chandelier at the new Dental College that looks like a blow fish and cost a fortune, we could have done without, would have paid for the treatment of the Golf Garden. Too late, sorry!!

Sweet son
10372
Points
Sweet son 10/04/13 - 10:51 am
3
0
Love It!

They didn't even bother with Dr. Cool. They went straight to his bosses. Wonder if he had been given a courtesy visit or call and he just chose to ignore the little RC mosquito people?

Why not just pull the plug and let the water run out or if there is no plug then knock a hole in the wall down low and let the standing water and future rainwater escape. Seems pretty simple.

Another thought. Wish GRU had to pay the raintax like the rest of us. Can you imagine the amount that would generate.

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 10/04/13 - 10:52 am
4
0
red10778
57
Points
red10778 10/04/13 - 11:13 am
2
0
I don't hear any of you

I don't hear any of you asking how many times the city treated the for mosquitoes while it was in their possession? Remember the shape it was in before the university got it?

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 10/04/13 - 01:24 pm
1
2
Facts

Red10778... The land NEVER belonged to the city of Augusta. The state of Georgia was the previous owner before transferring the land to GRU.

That's why Cal Ripken had to sell his team, and the Greenjackets are moving to North Augusta..

Dr. Azziz wants the biotech park, retail, student housing, etc but no part of the baseball stadium.

jbartley
545
Points
jbartley 10/04/13 - 10:38 pm
0
0
I agree

Put Azzis in jail, don't let him blame someone else because he can't do his job!!

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