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County approves annexation request
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Meeting Tuesday in Pembroke, the Bryan County Board of Commissioners took several steps related to the proposed Belfast Commerce Centre and I-95 interchange, which planners hope will bring big-box retailers and light industry to Richmond Hill’s south side.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to let Richmond Hill annex about 2,000 acres around the interstate highway and Belfast Siding Road. City officials had requested the county’s “concurrence” in the annexation.
Calling their vote a “no-brainer,” commissioners noted that the county will still receive taxes on the area, while the city will provide services.
“Obviously, Richmond Hill’s wastewater treatment plant is very near that area and they can service it better than we can, and of course we hope that there will be development there in the near future,” Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said afterward.
Commissioner Carter Infinger made the motion and Commissioner Noah Covington gave the second. The vote was the last step in the annexation process for the county, said County Administrator Ray Pittman. But the city of Richmond Hill has applied for and is awaiting U.S. Justice Department approval.
The annexation process is simplified by there being only one landowner — Rayonier Inc. through its associated companies TerraPointe LLC and Timberlands Holding Company Atlantic — who has requested the action, Burnsed said.

Read full story in Sept. 14 issue of the Bryan County News. 

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