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Commissioners approve animal shelter, paving projects
Bryan County

By Jeff Whitten, correspondent.

Bryan County Commissioners approved a number of construction projects during their June 11 meeting in Richmond Hill.

Among them was $990,000 awarded to Foley Construction for a new South Bryan Animal Shelter building. The 4,400 square foot structure will be located on Dog Road in Richmond Hill.

Foley’s was the lowest of four bids, all of which were over $1million.

Roughly half the funding for the shelter is in the county’s SPLOST budget, according to County Administrator Ben Taylor, the rest will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Commissioners also approved the awarding of a $1.65 million contract to Cobbtown-based Sikes Brothers for the Mill Creek Church Road paving project – Sikes was the lowest of six bidders for the project, which is aimed at improving drainage as well as widening and paving the road, Taylor said.

All the other bids were in excess of $2.48 million.

Commissioners also reappointed Carolyn Shervette-Montgomery as chief magistrate judge and Hollis Hill as associate judge for Bryan County Magistrate Court. Their new terms expire in December 2028.

The Commission approved the payment of $92,500 to the engineering firm of Thomas and Hutton for work on two county roads -- the survey and right of way plans for Blige Road to prep it for paving in 2025 and conceptual plans to realign Church of God Road at the intersection of Black Creek Church Road for use in discussions “to decide if moving forward with the project is feasible,” Taylor told commissioners.

Jernigan Road will get improvements after the county approved a $515,000 contract with Thomas and Hutton to design, permit and engineer paving and drainage on the road from Oracle Parkway Extension to its intersection near the new I-16 interchange.

The easternmost roundabout on the Belfast Keller Road providing access to the new Richmond Hill High School will also see additional work in the amount of more than $258,000 by Reeves Construction to add an additional tie in to the roundabout. The additional work is being funded by Raydient, the developer of the Heartwood community, and will add 30 days to the projected finish date – which will now be in November.

Commissioners also voted to approve memorandums of understanding between Bryan County and the Savannah Harbor I-16 Joint Development Authority and Hyundai for reimbursement of design and engineering costs the county incurred to provide water and sewer to the Metaplant. Those costs totaled more than $420,000, with Thomas and Hutton providing the work.

The County Commission also changed its building permit fee schedule from value to square footage. The change came after the state legislature removed local government’s ability to charge permit fees based on a structure’s value.

In addition, Commissioners voted to spend no more than $62,000 for the county’s part in a joint feasibility study on an airport. Also taking part in the study are the city of Richmond Hill and the Development Authority. Richmond Hill initiated the study in 2023.

Commissioners also heard the first reading of a request for rezoning of 165 acres in North Bryan for a warehouse project by Dallas-based Stravinski Capital Development. The project straddles the county line between Bryan and Bulloch counties. Planning and Zoning Commissioners on Tuesday recommended approval for the project, though not unanimously. Current PZ vice chair Alex Floyd, who won the Republican primary for the District 1 commission seat and will take office in January, voted against the plan.

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