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Growth panel reports on goals
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The Growth Management Partnership updated the Bryan County Commission Tuesday on the partnership’s goals. The GMP will hold additional meetings with county and city leaders this month.
The four-county planning group includes Bryan, Liberty, Long and Tattnall counties and the municipalities in these counties, as well as Fort Stewart.
GMP Director Jeff Ricketson told commissioners the growth management plan being formed by the GMP will help the counties and cities handle projected growth.  
“We’re still going to be seeing growth,” Ricketson said. “It’s just not going to be in the form of 10,000 people.”
He acknowledged that the explosive growth that was initially expected to come from a fifth brigade will now not occur. However, steady and significant growth is still expected, Ricketson told the commission.
The GMP director said the partnership is gathering public input as part of its regional growth management study. Results from the study will help mold the group’s growth management plan.
Liz Drake, of EDAW, a land and environment-based planning and design firm contracted to conduct the study, presented the partnership’s objectives.
Drake said the study will help, “identify critical gaps in infrastructure.” Gaps could include needed improvements for libraries, parks, schools and law enforcement, she said.
“(The plan) is about enhancing the quality of life,” Drake added.
The study will answer such questions as “Where are we now?” “Where is growth coming from?” and “Where is growth going (in the region)?” she told the commission.
Drake emphasized the study will help the partnership determine how to
improve service delivery in the four-county region, without duplication of services.
“We anticipate releasing recommendations from the study in April or May 2010,” she said. “The study should be finished by summer 2010.”
The study also will
generate population and employment forecasts, as well as offer suggestions
for improving communication and transportation systems, Drake commented.
“This is the first of our (community) visits,” she said. “We’ll certainly be back.”
In response to a question posed by Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, Ricketson and Drake stressed that study will differentiate between growth generated by the military, and growth generated by other factors.
“We’ll capture the background growth and include that in the report,” Drake said.
The GMP will hold the following meetings in various locations next week:
• Oct. 19, at 6 p.m.
Meeting at Glennville City Hall at 134 S. Main St. in Glennville.
• Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.
Meeting in conjunction with the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission at the Liberty County Courthouse Annex board room at 112 N. Main St. in Hinesville.
• Oct. 20, at 6 p.m.
Meeting at the Long County Chamber of Commerce Senior Citizens Center at 15 Thornton Drive Northeast in Ludowici.
• Oct. 20, at 8 p.m.
Meeting at Richmond Hill City Hall in the city council chambers at 40 Richard R. Davis Drive in Richmond Hill.
For more information, call 408-2069.
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