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City approves I-95 money

POSTED: July 11, 2017 9:56 a.m.

The Richmond Hill City Council Thursday night unanimously approved a resolution to pay 50 percent of the funding gap for the new interchange on I-95 at Belfast Keller Road.

The Bryan County Board of Commissioners last month approved paying the other 50 percent. Each entity will pay between $1.25 million and $2.1 million for the project, depending on final costs. The Georgia Department of Transportation is expected to seek bids for the construction this fall.

The entire project is expected to cost between $16.6 million and $18.26 million total. It will take about two years to complete.

Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced that Bryan County would receive a $1.5 million grant for the project from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

Mayor Harold Fowler and the city council recognized the contributions of Steve Croy for his work in getting the interchange project moved forward. Croy is a local real estate developer and government relations consultant who also serves on the board of the Development Authority of Bryan County.

Fowler said state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, told local officials that the interchange was “dead in the water” last year.

“We only had one possibility and that was to hire Steve because of his connections,” Fowler said. “We are grateful for his vital contributions.”

Croy said he spent a lot of time at the state capitol “making people understand how important this interchange is to the community.”

Croy also said the project is unique in that it includes the city, county and Rayonier.

“There was a lot of cooperation between the three entities,” he said. “This wouldn’t have come to be without Rayonier.”

Raydient Places + Properties, the real estate arm of Rayonier, has granted a right-of-way to Bryan County for the land necessary for the interchange.

In other business, the council approved the preliminary plat for Brisbon Village Townhomes. They will be located on seven lots off Brisbon Road at Village Parkway. The latter street connects Brisbon Road with the Town Centre area.

Council also approved the landscape plan for Brisbon Townhomes, a 20-unit development to be located on the west side of Brisbon Road near Harris Trail.

Finally, the council voted to spend $52,622 on an excavator to be used for cleaning out ditches as part of the city’s storm water management system.

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