By Carter Infinger
I think most residents are aware that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently paid a visit to Bryan County. The governor dropped in on us for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is the new Interstate 95-Belfast Keller interchange, which was a very big, years-long joint project with the state. As the state’s top leader, Gov. Kemp wanted to come see our newest pieces of infrastructure for himself, test it out and hear what others from the area thought of it.
Gov. Kemp, after testing out the interchange, sat down for a candid roundtable discussion with several local business owners, operators and representatives, as well as many elected officials, dignitaries, county leaders and influencers. This was so much more than just standard photo opportunity for our county. Though, from a distance, some may have seen the event as pomp and circumstance surrounding the governor’s visit, I’m happy to offer assurance that it was not.
Bryan County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Georgia. Any time we can welcome the governor or other high-ranking officials to come visit us and see all the wonderful things we have going on – thriving local businesses, a booming population, a well-run government – that’s a great thing. Seeing that we’re managing our growth effectively lets our state and even federal leaders know that Bryan County has its priorities straight and is following a carefully laid-out plan. When Gov. Kemp can hear straight from prominent business representatives and local residents that we’re expanding by leaps and bounds, can hear first-hand accounts of this growth, he knows we’re serious.
When opportunities arise at the state level for joint funding of projects or to offer extra financial assistance, Bryan County will be front of mind.
We’ve shown what this county is capable of and where we’re going – Gov. Kemp has now seen it himself and heard it from the people who make up the backbone of our community. You can’t ask for more effective publicity than that.
I’d like to thank everyone who had a hand in making Gov. Kemp’s visit a success – all of our county staffers, local dignitaries, elected leaders and politicians. We appreciate your help with showcasing our county and its countless strengths. It’s appealing to state legislators and leaders to know that they’re supporting a county that has its ducks in a row and will use any received funding in smart and effective ways. Bryan County shines thanks to the hardworking individuals who live and work here and are willing to go the extra mile to keep us in the upper echelon. I’d also like to thank Rep. Ron Stephens and GDOT State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell for their help in bringing the interchange to fruition. They’re effort and support really helped to push the project through.
I hope you are as impressed with our new interchange as Gov. Kemp was, and don’t forget to stay tuned for updates on the Highway 144 widening, which also will be finished this year.
Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.