The Bulloch County government has a special, public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the North Main Annex with officials of Brooklet, Portal and Register invited to work on the joint 10-year comprehensive plan.
“The real end game is to guide the future physical development of the community on four pillars – broadband access and quality, economic development, transportation and land use. All are inherently connected,” County Manager Tom Couch said in a reminder email.
A state law requires cities and counties to create a comprehensive plan every 10 years and update it after five years to remain eligible for funding programs, such as grants and loans available through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. 2019 is the year for Bulloch County and all four municipal governments within the county to submit new plans.
The Bulloch County government and Brooklet, Portal and Register develop their plans together. Meanwhile, the city of Statesboro develops its plan separately and held its own input sessions and a survey for that purpose, but Statesboro’s mayor and some other officials were invited to this meeting.
So far, suggested land use maps for future development in the county and for each of the three smaller towns have been drawn up, and a SWOT analysis, listing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and “threats,” or potential challenges, has been outlined for the whole county. It includes an “urban” element for the towns.
The four “pillars” that Couch mentioned – broadband, economic development, transportation and land use, are identified in the analysis as primary goals. Under the overall title “Smart Bulloch 2040 Plan,” suggesting a 20-year reach instead of just 10, these goals are labeled “Smart Connections,” “Smart Business,” “Smart Mobility” and “Smart Growth.”
Tuesday’s meeting is meant to get more input from “stakeholders,” such as representatives of the cities, and no final decisions will be made, Couch said. He expects the plan to be completed in April, he said.