The Bryan County Commissioners were told at their monthly meeting Tuesday that suicide in the county continues to be a problem.
“We have had a good number of high-profile suicides,” said Wendy Sims, director of Bryan County Family Connection.“People don't always know where to go for assistance. We are trying to reduce the stigma of suicide. We rank 66 of 159 counties in suicides.”
Sims went before the commission to ask their support in passing a proclamation designating Sept. 7-12 as Suicide Prevention Week in Bryan County.
“We need mental health services. Our folks need services,” Sims said.
The proclamation said in part, “Too many Georgians die by suicide each year, and most of these deaths are preventable.”
The proclamation also recognized that preventing suicide was difficult and had to make use of a multi-strategy approach.
Bryan County Engineer Kirk Croasmun told the commissioners the Community Rating System for flood insurance determined the county had done sufficient work to improve the community class rating from an 8 to 7. That rating change should save county residents 5 percent on their flood insurance premiums, the county engineer said.
Croasmun thanked county staff for their hard work in upgrading the flood class rating and told the commissioners that the county was “not far off from receiving a 6.” He also told the commissioners that there would be new flood maps for south Bryan County later next year, and some people who were previously not in a flood zone could find themselves in one and otherswho were in a flood zone might no longer be. He reiterated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, not thecounty, was responsible for any changesto the flood zones.
Regional library director Jennifer Durham told the commissioners that the Statesboro Regional Public Libraries will hold focus-group meetings in October to get feedback from Richmond Hill residentson building a new library and what services they would like to see in anewsouthBryan County facility.
Dates for the meetings have not yet been set, Durham said.
The commissioners also approved a $705,833 contract with East Coast Asphalt to resurface Bacontown Road. The contract includes the resurfacing of three roads in Pembroke, and Pembroke will reimburse the county for those costs,Croasmun said.
The commissioners also approved the rezoning of 55 acres off Bryan Fisherman's Co-op Road from A-5 to R-1. The rezoning will allow developer MichaelCasey to build up to 33 lots in a subdivision on the property near Highway 144.
A public hearing was held with no comments either for or against. The commissioners approved the request but told Casey he would be responsiblefor upgrading the road to his property and had to get approval from the state department of transportation for the project.
The commissioners also approved a contract between Pembroke and Bryan County allowing prisoners fromthe city to be jailed in county facilities for a per-prisoner daily cost. The contract is the same as one executed earlier this year between the county and Richmond Hill.