by Karen Dalton
Bynum, NC – I live in Bynum on Bynum Road. My husband and I own a piece of property on the corner of Bynum Road and Bynum Beach Road. Our property adjoins the one acre county park underneath the Bynum pedestrian bridge. We have two rental houses down on riverside. On the whole riverside of Bynum Beach Road there are approximately eight residential homes.
I am here today because we are in desperate need of some laws and some ordinances to go along with the county park rules that they have kindly put up down there by the water and at the entrance. They have made a sign for us at our property saying “County Property Ends Here, Private Property Begins”. Everyone has been really helpful. The sheriff’s department has been great and so patient. I call them constantly. They come down and try to make a little bit of peace and give us some education about what we can do and we have been have been told to come here. I should have been here years ago.
But what pushed me to come here this very time, at this moment, was the accident on 15-501 last week where two people were killed. We have a major issue down at the county park with drinking, excessive drinking. People are allowed to bring their coolers into the water, hang out all day, and drink until they are drunk. Nine out of ten times there may be a fight before they get back to their cars. They get in their cars, they are drunk, they drive up the hill and they drive out on 15-501. Law enforcement, as I understand, cannot actually do anything unless they are caught driving drunk or there is an accident. I have spoken to the Wildlife people and they can’t do anything if they are drinking in the water unless they are in a vessel. They can drink in the water all day if they are floating.
We are in desperate need of something here to help us with what goes on down there. It is just incredible; this little tiny space creates so many problems.
Another problem for us is the trespassing. We have had people come that are going to the county property and they take the kayaks out from under our rental houses and take them down to the riverside to use and leave them there. Kayaks have been put out to the front lawn of the little rental house at the base of the pedestrian bridge. I have had my neighbor, Jake, who is rarely home, he had patio furniture out in front of his home so people know that somebody lives there and last summer somebody took his chairs out from the front of his house and brought them down to the county property so they had a place to sit. One chair was left in a ditch and the other was left in the path. It has gotten out of hand.
The county is growing, it is more than we can handle. I have tried for years; I have talked to a bunch of people.
Another issue is the dogs. People come to the property, they go to the park, they want to swim, their doors are open to their cars and their dogs are gone. It is amazing to me how many people don’t call their dogs if they are gone for an hour or two. They come up to my house. Two years ago my husband and I were in the yard; we have a dog pen and we have leashes, my husband and I are in the yard and we hear our Jack Russell screaming. A dog had come up the path and taken her by the neck and shaken her like a ragdoll. If we were not outside she would be dead today. So now our dogs can’t be let loose on our property because of the fact people are just coming onto the property, county land, and it is a free for all. Everything belongs to them, there is nothing private.
I’ve spoken to Michael Yarborough with animal control and Michael said he is just overwhelmed with work and this is not something he can deal with and that I needed to come and speak to the commissioners.
Another issue is parking. We need a few signs down there; there is really no designated place for these people to park off the road. They are parking in the road.
We would really like some laws here and some backup. Everybody has been great, Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Department, total support.
Karen Dalton spoke in the public input portion of the Chatham County commissioners’ meeting on June 15.