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Bryan among fastest growing counties in the nation

Bryan County was the 27th fastest growing county in the nation from 2010 to 2015, and 22nd for just 2015, according to information presented at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

The county grew 16 percent from 2010 to 2015, U.S. Census Bureau numbers show, adding nearly 5,000 residents, with a 3.6 percent growth in 2015. And 2016 appears to be on track to top that.

County Administrator Ben Taylor said there have been 101 single-family home permits issued through the first four months of this year, a 44 percent increase over the same time period a year ago. Taylor noted that those permits take into account only the unincorporated portion of the county, not the city of Richmond Hill.

In 2015, there were 252 single-family home permits issued by the county, and another 127 in Richmond Hill.

With that growth, however, comes more demand for services, Taylor said. EMS calls, for example, have increased from 2,900 in 2012 to 3,440 in 2015.

“The number of fire runs has remained stable though,” he said. “Mostly because all the new construction is up to code.”

Taylor also said the county added about 3 miles of roads last year, primarily because of new subdivisions.

Commissioner Noah Covington said his research found that Bryan County has the 26th lowest tax rate of the 159 counties in Georgia.

“That speaks volumes for what we’ve been doing,” he said. “Especially when you consider that we have a lot of redundant services due to being split in two.”

In other business, new Commissioner Dallas Daniel was sworn in by Probate Judge Sam Davis. Daniel was appointed at the April meeting to represent District 4 until a permanent replacement is elected in November. Former Commissioner Carter Infinger resigned the post in March to run for board chairman. State law prohibits a person from holding one elective office while seeking another.

In another matter, Taylor told commissioners the county is getting close to seeking bids to replace the fire station on Daniel Siding Road. A new 3,400-square-foot station will cost about $300,000 and be built next to the existing one. Taylor said the current station will be retained and used for road maintenance operations.

Commissioners also approved spending $467,000 to resurface Oakhill, Williamson, Warnell and Charles Shuman roads.

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