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Planning commission director: 90,000 new residents by 2030
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Sonny Timmerman - photo by Alena Parker / Coastal Courier
Sonny Timmerman, director of the Liberty County Planning Commission, told Rotarians to brace themselves for a wave of nearly 90,000 new residents by 2030, 12,000 of which are expected with the arrival of the new Fort Stewart brigade.
In his talk about county growth during the club's weekly meeting, Timmerman explained how the community has "plenty of opportunity," and can start feeling the expansion sooner than they think.
"This 12,000 (soldiers) with our 60,000 today, we could be talking about Liberty County having a population in the range of 75,000 in the next two to three years," Timmerman said.
He explained how troops will start moving into the area during the 2010 fiscal year, beginning Oct. 2009, meaning planning sessions should begin soon.
"We're looking at substantial impacts tomorrow," Timmerman said. "We got to address and evaluate the impacts of the expanded military, alone, over the next couple of years."
Timmerman said Liberty County's "magnitude of impact" currently is not as withstanding as that of other counties - such as Chatham - and detailed, advance planning will be required.
A collaborative organization with the military and local officials is in the works to create a growth-management plan.  
"We want quality development in our county," Timmerman said. "We can no longer afford to have development at any cost.
"Quality development will bring us the kind of development we want and therefore the revenue that we need to have to keep our taxes from going up."
Timmerman also mentioned that by the end of this year, the county will move closer to having its own transit system.
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