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Growth group hatches plan for study
0927 Jeff Ricketson
Jeff Ricketson - photo by Courier file photo
During a public meeting Tuesday, leaders of the Fort Stewart Growth Management Partnership briefed community members on the status of the four-county partnership, its goals and how the area’s latest growth projections are shaping up.
Liz Drake, a consultant with planning and design firm EDAW, who was hired to help the partnership with its massive area growth survey, spoke at the meeting. She said that even though Liberty County won’t become home to the 10,000 people the addition of a fifth brigade at Fort Stewart would have brought, the area can still expect a fair amount of growth.
“The region is growing. Some of it related and some of it not related to the military,” Drake said.
She said during the next five years, the military expects its personnel numbers to climb from 26,964 to 30,619, including civilian contractors.
Partnership Director Jeff Ricketson said outside of the military, the region’s population is expanding at a steady rate.
“Since 1970, this area has tripled in population,” he said. “The area is expected to continue to grow and receive about 50,000 people in the next 20 years for four counties, according to the UGA population projections.”
Drake said her firm’s main points of interest are education (mainly kindergarten through 12th grade), health and human services, housing and land use, public safety and emergency services, public services, transportation and job creation.
The team will look at these services to determine how they will be affected and how the county can prepare for upcoming growth
As part of the study, Drake and others involved with the group will also look at the effect of losing the brigade.
“We’re going to identify both public and private sector expenditures,” Drake said.
Right now, she said the group is focused on gathering information and input from the community, and will later report the findings.
“We’re having two rounds of public meetings,” she said. “Next spring, we’ll be back with preliminary recommendations. We are still very early in the process.”
She invited the public to contribute to or follow the progress of the reports at
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