By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Growth hearing draws light crowd
Study focuses on house, population, workforce
Placeholder Image
Representatives of the Fort Stewart Regional Growth Management Partnership presented findings from their yearlong growth projection study to a light crowd Tuesday at the public hearing for Liberty County. The findings reflect study input from stakeholders in several community sectors. Public meetings also were held in Ludowici, Glennville and Richmond Hill.
Liz Drake, from the consulting firm AECOM, said even though the planned fifth brigade would not be coming to the area, 20-year projections show the population definitely will increase, and as a result several areas of service will require regional planning and improvement to accommodate the growth.
“If we look at overall population figures, we’re looking at a total growth over 20 years of almost 32,000 in Liberty County — 72,500 across four counties,” Drake said.  Bryan, Liberty, Long and Tattnall counties are the areas targeted by the study, particularly because their services are most used by the military population at Fort Stewart.
To accommodate growth, housing naturally became a primary component of study. Recommended long- and short-term strategies include developing regulations for environmentally sensitive areas, creating localized development strategies and implementing a regional tracking system for housing numbers, location and type.
“This is a fluid system that can be updated and shared,” Drake said of the tracking system.
Workforce development was another major sector of the study. The partnership sought data that would help regional players formulate strategies for enticing potential employers as well as provide training opportunities for the workforce. “We want to have sufficient jobs, and we anticipate 12,000 non-military jobs in a variety of sectors by 2030,” Drake said.
Workforce recommendations include increasing awareness of available technical training programs, focusing on meeting current industry needs and developing job opportunities for military spouses and dependents.
Health and social care, transportation, public services, public safety and land use carry their own recommendations.
The overarching message from many of the results is that “the region needs to diversify the economy to support the growth it has experienced over the past two decades” as well as prepare for the growth to come, Drake said. “Many of these are not new ideas, and in many cases Liberty County is ahead of the curve.”
More detailed information on the findings can be found at

Sign up for our e-newsletters