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County commissioners holding retreat on St. Simon’s Island

POSTED: April 12, 2017 11:40 a.m.

The Bryan County Board of Commissioners will hold a retreat Thursday and Friday at the Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center on St. Simon’s Island.

County Administrator Ben Taylor said the retreat will include commissioners, himself and key staff and will cost less than $5,000.

“It is a very common thing and actually pretty much an industry standard now,” Taylor said of the retreat. “With a community that is growing at this phenomenal rate, it is my opinion that at least two of these are needed a year.”

The retreat will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. The retreat is considered a board meeting and is open to the public.

Commissioners will focus primarily on long-range infrastructure planning Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Those sessions will be facilitated by Gordon Maner from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Maner will also give a presentation on the various roles and interrelationships between county commissioners, the county administrator, department heads, staff and other boards.

The county’s infrastructure — particularly roads — is critical, especially in light of the number of new housing developments commissioners have approved in the past year.

Commissioners Chairman Carter Infinger said he recently met with Georgia Department of Transportation officials who told him bids on widening S.R. 144 would likely be sought next March.

A transportation study conducted last year showed that traffic on Highway 144 would jump from a current 26,000 vehicles per day now to 51,000 per day in 2040, and if a proposed interchange on I-95 at Belfast Keller Road gets completed, that road would see an increase from the current 5,000 vehicles per day now to 59,000.

Taylor Tuesday night told commissioners there were 97 single-family home permits issued for the unincorporated portion of the county through the first quarter of 2017. That is ahead of the pace for 2016 by 100 permits.

Taylor also noted that the county’s population is projected to grow from about 40,000 currently to about 60,000 by 2030.

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