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Guest column: Our future is bright
Carter Infinger
Carter Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.

Carter Infinger

Chairman Bryan County Commission

Hyundai Motor Company made a huge announcement in May and officially broke ground in October in partnership with Bryan County to announce a new manufacturing plant to go into the 2900-acre mega-site location on U.S. 280. The focus of the plant is to produce the South Korean company’s fleet of electric vehicles that can easily be shipped from the mega-site along the railroad to the major ports. This $5.5 Billion plant is the largest industrial investment ever in Georgia.

This is a major win not only for all of Bryan County, including the Bryan County Development Authority, but also for the region. This plant is set to create around 8,100 initial higher paying jobs and the supporting businesses will create thousands more for those living in the area. The next step is providing the infrastructure to support the Hyundai plant. This requires water, sewer, and road upgrades. The plan, in conjunction with the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (JDA) is to pull water from strategically located wells to create a pipeline to the mega-site, while also providing services to select other sites along the way. The sewer infrastructure is also planned for installation along key sites that have the most efficient impact. These projects are done with the assistance of the three other members of the JDA, Bulloch, Chatham, and Effingham Counties.

This, of course, is not cheap to install, especially with the rising costs of pipe and other related equipment. Another recent announcement made by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority provides Bryan County with a $37.1 million loan with a 40-year 0% interest rate. Ultimately, the goal is to minimize the dollars Bryan County taxpayers spend on this water and sewer infrastructure.

Water and sewer are not the only infrastructure that will need improvement. The roadways to get to the site also need to be upgraded and we can do this with T-SPLOST funds and other funding mechanisms. Plans are already in place to improve U.S. 280 from Wilma Edwards Road to U.S. 80. Wilma Edwards and Oracal Parkway are planned to see intersection improvements at the beginning of 2023. Bryan County is working with GDOT on the I-16 intersection and the U.S. 80 intersection, which could see roundabout improvements as soon as 2024. The new plant is expected to start operation in 2025.

The future for Bryan County is very bright right now and I am incredibly happy to see the fruits of our labor. Thank you for allowing me to serve as Chairman during this amazing time.

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