BRYAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMISSIONERS WELCOMES MATTHEW KENT AS COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

BRYAN COUNTY BOARD OF COMISSIONERS WELCOMES MATTHEW KENT AS COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – October 18, 2021 – Bryan County has announced the hiring of a new communications manager, Matthew Kent.  With the creation of this role, Bryan County will take the communications function in-house.

Prior to assuming his position in Bryan County, Kent served as the public communications manager in Glynn County for nearly four years. During that time, he developed several initiatives for public outreach – such as the first Glynn County State of the County address and the first Glynn County Citizen’s Academy – and revamped social media, live streaming, and the county website. He also managed public information during several large events of national and international interest, in addition to natural emergencies such as hurricanes.

Before his time in Glynn County, Kent worked in Douglas County, Georgia, for 11 years as a media and communications specialist and was primarily responsible for producing several monthly government access television shows, social media, and providing public information for the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency and Fire Departments during events. From 2005 to 2017, Kent provided freelance video production services for Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia Public Broadcasting, ESPN, Comcast, and other corporate clients in his free time. In what’s left of his free time today, he likes to restore cars and is currently working on a 1979 Dodge Ramcharger. Kent has a Bachelor’s of Mass Communications from the University of West Georgia, earned a GEMA Basic Certified Emergency Manager certification, completed the FEMA Advanced Public Information Officer course, and has been accepted to the FEMA Master Public Information Officer 2022 Cohort beginning this December 2021.

Before adding a communications manager position, Bryan County outsourced its public relations and marketing needs to Lesley Francis Public Relations. The Richmond Hill-based agency began working with Bryan County in mid-2017 and has since created and implemented a full communications program consisting of media relations, material development, social media and website management, graphic design, and digital communications.

“Lesley Francis and her team at LFPR have provided exemplary service for Bryan County since 2017. Over the last four years, they have worked alongside the county to create an excellent marketing program encompassing PR, social media, design, copywriting, online marketing and more. They are familiar with how local governments operate, allowing them to work directly with the County Administrator, department heads and senior staff to communicate messages to the public in a professional manner, thus inspiring confidence in our services. Bryan County’s Board of Commissioners has made the decision to take this critical function in-house, and we recognize that Lesley Francis Public Relations has been instrumental in drastically improving Bryan County’s communication with its residents at a crucial time in the county’s growth,” said Carter Infinger, Chairman of Bryan County Board of Commissioners. “We thank LFPR for all they have done for staff and their service to the citizens of Bryan County. We look forward to their assistance during our transition between now and the end of 2021, and potentially any ad hoc marketing needs we have going forward.”

Lesley Francis Public Relations CEO and Founder Lesley Francis said her team will assist Bryan County for the remainder of 2021 and will support Kent as needed as he acclimates to his role.

“As a resident of and business owner in Bryan County since 2009, it has been an honor to provide marketing services for the county. We are committed to a thorough and professional transition and wish everybody at the county the best for the future,” Francis said.

For more information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

BRYAN COUNTY PROMOTES VETERAN STAFFER LORI TYSON TO COUNTY CLERK POSITION

BRYAN COUNTY PROMOTES VETERAN STAFFER LORI TYSON TO COUNTY CLERK POSITION

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 22, 2021 – Bryan County has named Lori Tyson as the new county clerk. Tyson has been employed by the county for five years, having served as the assistant to the county administrator and customer service supervisor for four of those years.

Tyson replaces Donna Waters, who retired in January from her post as county clerk after 41 years with the county. Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor said he has faith in Tyson’s ability to step into her new role and lead with confidence.

“We are fortunate to be able to promote Lori to this position. She is already very familiar with the inner workings of the job and has a wealth of knowledge regarding the county’s operations, which will serve her well in this new capacity,” Taylor said. “This position is extremely important to county operations, and Chairman Infinger and the commission have full confidence in Lori. We congratulate her on this well-deserved appointment.”

Tyson, who is originally from Claxton and now lives in Pembroke, is delighted by the new opportunity, and looks forward to furthering her career.

“I’m thankful to the commission for trusting me with this important role. I’m eager to continue serving the residents of Bryan County and doing all that I can to make a difference in our community,” Tyson said.

For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP VISITS BRYAN COUNTY TO SEE NEW I-95 INTERCHANGE, SPEAK WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

GOV. BRIAN KEMP VISITS BRYAN COUNTY TO SEE NEW I-95 INTERCHANGE, SPEAK WITH LOCAL LEADERS AND BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 19, 2021 – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp paid a visit Wednesday to Bryan County, where he tried out the new Interstate 95/Belfast Keller interchange for the first time. He then chatted with local leaders and business owners about the significance of the new infrastructure as well as its economic and growth implications.

Kemp participated in a small business roundtable discussion, moderated by Rep. Ron Stephens, at the Bryan County Administrative Complex on Capt. Matthew Freeman Dr. He talked with representatives from Coastal Electric, McDonald’s, Rayonier and RE/MAX Accent as well as local leaders, dignitaries, and elected officials, including GDOT State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell, Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, Sheriff Mark Crowe, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, Development Authority of Bryan County CEO Anna Chafin, Richmond Hill City Council members Robbie Ward and Steve Scholar, Bryan County Engineering Department Director Kirk Croasmun, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor, and Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kathryn Johnson.

The participants discussed the importance of the interchange, which officially opened last month and has already begun to improve traffic flow and motorists’ safety. In addition, the newly created exit on the Interstate 95 corridor is expected to generate additional economic opportunities and draw new business to the area.

Kemp was generous with praise for the county and the widespread collaborative efforts it took to get the $19 million interchange project in place.

“These partnerships with the department of transportation, the great leadership we have there with Russell McMurry and his team, the legislative partners like (Rep.) Ron Stephens, the county’s local government, the mayor, the chairman, councils, commissioners, the great job the school board is doing educating the future workforce, and the business community and chamber working with economic development partners – Bryan County really has everything you need right here. I’m so optimistic about this region’s potential in the future, and I’m just glad to be here,” the governor said. “The sky is the limit from here. Not just for Bryan County, but for this whole area.”

Following the roundtable discuss, Kemp held a brief press conference and took questions from media outlet representatives and journalists in attendance. He touched briefly on a variety of topics brought up by journalists, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, possible absentee voting legislation, and the ways in which local infrastructure improvements – like the new interchange – matter at a state level and beyond.

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger thanked Kemp for all the support he has offered Bryan County and encouraged the local business owners and operators in attendance to share their insights on how the interchange and other infrastructural upgrades will positively affect the region’s growth and economic climate.

“I think this was a great opportunity for some of our area business people and local employers to talk to the governor about the changes they see happening here and their expectations for the future. It’s important that Gov. Kemp hears these things from individual county governments and communities so he understands what a big impact it has on us when the state is willing to work with us, help fund projects and assist us in planning,” Infinger said.

For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

BRYAN COUNTY HIRES ATLANTIC WASTE SERVICES TO REPLACE REPUBLIC AS SANITATION PROVIDER

BRYAN COUNTY HIRES ATLANTIC WASTE SERVICES TO REPLACE REPUBLIC AS SANITATION PROVIDER

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 8, 2021 – Bryan County has hired Atlantic Waste Services, Inc., to replace Republic as the sanitation provider in unincorporated areas of the county. The move will mean a new service provider, delivery of new polycarts, regular garbage and recycling pick-ups, new trucks owned and operated by a local company doing the collecting, and no cost increase to customers.

Bryan County put the contract out for bid and accepted proposals earlier this year to avoid an increase in cost. The unexpected savings generated by awarding the contract to a new provider not only avoided an increase but netted $380,000 in annual savings. This very well could lead to a slight decrease in residents’ annual solid waste fees in the future, as opposed to the anticipated increase if the county had continued with the same provider. In addition, the company already serves the cities of Richmond Hill and Pembroke.  

The county commission has approved the agreement for Atlantic to begin sanitation services beginning March 1. To prepare for the implementation of services, Atlantic will begin delivering polycarts to residents on Feb. 8. Attached to each polycart will be a schedule detailing trash and recycling pick-up days so residents will know exactly when to set out their bins. Trash and recycling will be collected on the same day, so resident will only need to put their polycarts on the curb once per week.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday will be dedicated to routes in the south end of the county. Half of Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to north-end routes. Each resident will receive one green-lidded garbage cart and one yellow-lidded recycle cart. Extra carts can be purchased for $120, billed in advance annually, by calling 912-964-2000 or emailing info@atlanticwaste.com.

In their green-lidded garbage polycarts, residents may place “landfill-only waste,” including non-hazardous household and commercial refuse such as food scraps, glass bottles, and non-recyclable plastics. Construction and demolition waste, paint, tires, medical waste greater than 2 pounds per week, and hazardous waste materials (such as radioactive waste, extremely acidic or basic chemicals, containers containing 5 or more gallons of liquid) are not permitted.

Recyclables placed in the yellow-lidded carts must be loose and unbagged. They will be picked up every other week, as noted on the schedules that will come with residents’ polycarts. Acceptable items include Plastics #1-7, paper, cardboard, metal cans, aluminum cans, clean pizza boxes and aseptic packaging. Items that are not permissible include glass, plastic wrap, aerosol cans, aluminum foil, Styrofoam, wax bottles, food waste, food-tainted items, ceramic kitchenware, plastic toys or sporting goods, wood, packing peanuts and bubble wrap, hazardous chemicals and containers, and yard clippings.

Atlantic Vice President Ben Wall said that his company’s website will include a special link just for Bryan County residents, which they can click on to find their route maps and schedules at any time. The site and social media will also be used to communicate any changes in service or schedule alterations, should bad weather or unexpected circumstances arise.

In addition, the transition to a new service provider will mean lower rates at the county’s convenience centers. It currently costs 25 cents per pound to dispose of bulk waste at the centers, but that rate will decrease to 10 cents per pound under Atlantic’s operation. Bulk waste may still be dropped off at the 144 Spur location (South Bryan) or the Mill Creek location (North Bryan). Those who would like bulk items picked up at their homes should call Atlantic’s offices. The cost will depend on the size, weight, and amount. The current rate for garbage and recycling pickups will not change and, eventually, residents may expect to see a cost savings.

Wall said he’s eager to provide quality service to all the citizens of Bryan County. Atlantic already serves Richmond Hill and Pembroke.

“My family has been lifelong property owners in Bryan County and, as a company, we are really looking forward to the opportunity to serve all the customers and citizens in the area,” Wall said. “We’re a locally owned company, so the money that residents spend with us is staying right here in the community, which we greatly care about.”

Malorie Boyd, Atlantic’s residential operations manager, stressed the importance of residents remembering to set out their polycarts the night before they’re scheduled for pick-up.

“Some routes start very early, so if your home is at the beginning of a route, then you might get picked up very early in the morning, around 6 a.m. So make sure you bring everything to the curb the evening before,” Boyd said.

For more regular information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information on Atlantic Waste Services, please visit atlanticwaste.com.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or
912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

BRYAN COUNTY FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES ADDS HELICOPTER LANDING SITE BY STATION 1

BRYAN COUNTY FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES ADDS HELICOPTER LANDING SITE BY STATION 1

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 4, 2021 – Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services now has a permanent helicopter landing area next to BCFES Station 1 on Highway 144 in South Bryan County. The zone is marked by four red and green lights and a windsock that identifies it as a landing area for helicopters. Thanks to the windsock donation from LifeStar Georgia Air Ambulance and the new setup, the area is compliant with Federal Aviation Administration helicopter landing zone requirements.

For several weeks now, a helicopter has been landing and taking off in the newly marked-off launch site. BCFES also teamed up with LifeStar, which is based in Springfield, Georgia, to hold an in-house landing zone and aircraft familiarization class. LifeStar provided the instructors and flew in their helicopter so class participants could become familiar with the aircraft. It also provided LifeStar with an opportunity try out the new landing area.

“We’re very grateful to be able to add a helicopter landing site for emergency medical flights right next to the new Station 1, BCFES Chief Freddy Howell said. “This will allow emergency medical flights to decrease transport time when taking critical trauma patients to hospitals. It’s definitely an effective option to have.”

For more information about Bryan County Emergency Services, please visit www.bryancountyga.org/government/departments-a-g/emergency-services or follow the agency on Facebook: @BryanCountyEmergencyServices.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@francis.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

NEW INTERSTATE 95 INTERCHANGE AT BELFAST KELLER IN BRYAN COUNTY IS NOW OPEN

NEW INTERSTATE 95 INTERCHANGE AT BELFAST KELLER IN BRYAN COUNTY IS NOW OPEN

BRYAN COUNTY, GA – JANUARY 22, 2021 – Following an investment of $19 million, the new interchange at Interstate 95 at Belfast Keller Road in Bryan County is complete and open to traffic today, Jan. 22. In accordance with social distancing practices, Georgia DOT coordinated with state and local elected officials for a ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate this occasion.

“This is a great day for Bryan County, and I’m pleased we have brought this project to reality for their citizen and Southeast Georgia,” State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell said. “Transportation is critical to the coastal area’s tourism industry and also to promoting overall economic development throughout Southeast Georgia. I-95 is the cornerstone to that growth.”

This is the third interchange in Georgia designed with roundabouts at the ramps to increase safety and operational efficiencies. The new interchange will ease congestion on State Route 144 through South Bryan County and decrease travel times with improved connectivity to Interstate 95 and enhanced safety during natural disasters.

“The new interchange at I-95 and Belfast Keller Road is an important improvement for mobility not just in the immediate area, but for coastal Georgia,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said. “This project represents a real commitment by the Georgia Department of Transportation to make investments in transportation projects that really move the needle on improving mobility for the benefit of Georgia citizens and businesses.”

“We’re excited to have the I-95/Belfast Keller Interchange fully open and accessible in South Bryan County,” Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger said. “This is a wonderful addition for our citizens in terms of safety and convenience. During hurricane evacuations, this gives us another path to get people on the road and out of harm’s way quickly and more efficiently, which we’re grateful for.”

Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs, and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike, and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability, and mobility. The Department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation. Visit www.dot.ga.gov.

For more information about Bryan County, please visit www.bryancountyga.org or follow the county on their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

CUTLINE FOR ACCOMPANYING PHOTO (From L to R): GDOT District Engineer Robert McCall, Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry, State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell, Rep. Ron Stephens and Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger.