DAWSONVILLE — Gold Creek residents are furious that the main entrance to their subdivision remains closed nearly two months after heavy rains caused a pipe to collapse.
Those involved in the dispute acknowledge that repairs are necessary, but they can’t agree on who’s responsible for making them.
The front entrance, according to city and county officials, is part of the now defunct Gold Creek Golf Club and golf course, which Regions Bank foreclosed on earlier this year.
Tim Deighton of Regions Corporate Communications in Alabama said the bank is aware of the homeowners’ concerns.
"This is a complicated situation and we are working to resolve the matter as soon as possible," he said.
Gold Creek resident Herb Burnsed, who lives near the front entrance, said the community’s homeowners’ association has been in talks with Regions, but with few results.
"First, they said they weren’t responsible for the entrance," he said. "Then a few days later, they put up the cement barricades to keep anyone from driving through the entrance. It seems they recognize some liability."
Kim Cornelison, clerk and administrator for the city of Dawsonville, said it was her understanding that the bank’s legal department is trying to determine if Regions is obligated to repair the road.
"My understanding from our legal department and that of (Dawson) County’s is the research shows it is Regions that is responsible," she said.
Burnsed said he and the community of some 200 homes, which also includes about 200 students from neighboring Southern Catholic College, want the road repaired.
In addition to more traffic through the community, residents are concerned about delays to emergency response time.
"It takes about six extra minutes to get out to Ga. 136 from the Shoal Creek Road back entrance," Burnsed said.
Tim Satterfield, fire marshal and deputy chief of Dawson County Emergency Services, agrees there needs to be at least two operational entrances into the neighborhood, although there is no county code that requires that.
"I see this as a public safety concern," he said.