The City of Statesboro is a progressive community that provides an exceptional quality of life to its residents and offers southern charm and hospitality to its visitors. The City offers a high standard of living with a commitment to ensure the most responsive and progressive public services to residents, businesses, and visitors alike. Statesboro is where the living remains softly southern and folks call out to one another by first name.
Created by an act of the Georgia legislature in 1803, Statesboro is a Georgia Municipal Association City of Excellence and Certified City of Ethics. Statesboro has an economy comprised of a growing industrial base, a growing university, expanding retail activity, a regional medical center and an expanding array of amenities. This regional economic hub is located 10 miles off Interstate 16 and offers many educational and vocational opportunities that provide a competitive advantage for a strong workforce.
The City operates under the Council-Manager form of government, established by a 1999 Charter amendment. The Mayor is elected at large while the five council members are elected by district. All elections are non-partisan, and the terms are for four years, with half of the members elected every two years. The City Council appoints the City Manager to head the administrative functions of city government. As authorized by its Charter and Code, the services provided by the City are General Government (Administration, City Clerk, General Services, Human Resources, Finance, Planning and Development, Engineering/Public Works), Judicial (Municipal Court), Public Safety (Police and Fire), Water, Sewer and Natural Gas.
The City of Statesboro was incorporated on December 19, 1803, with a population of less than 25 people. The County seat of Bulloch County, Statesboro’s current population as of March 2017 is 30,721. Statesboro, GA has experienced an average growth rate of 2.64% per year since the 2009 recorded statistics. If past trends continue, forecast of the population count will be 33,083 by 2019. The Bulloch County area’s estimated annual population growth rate is 1.7%. The median age for the City of Statesboro is 22, not a surprising age since Statesboro is home to one university and two colleges. The 2017 median income per household in Statesboro was $22,763 and the per capita income was $12,423. The average household size is 2.54. The March 2017 unemployment rate for Bulloch County was 5.0%.
Situated in the southeastern corner of the state, Statesboro is located 194 miles from Atlanta, 76 miles from Augusta, 55 miles west of Savannah, 144 miles from Charleston, SC. and 168 miles from Jacksonville, Fla. It is located 10 miles from Interstate 16, and is on US Highways 301, 80, and 25, and State Routes 73, 67, and 24. Statesboro is included on the southern leg of the Savannah River Parkway, which is a four-lane connector between Savannah and Augusta.
The City of Statesboro is approximately 15.2 square miles in area with an average elevation of 240 feet above sea level, the terrain being mostly flat. The climate is seasonal, but moderate, with mild winters and warm, humid summers. The average high temperature in January is 58 degrees and 91 degrees in July. The average annual rainfall is 47.0” and the relative humidity is 53% in January and 75% in July.
Statesboro is a regional trade center for commerce, education and health care. The City has a highly diversified economy with several major industries located in the area and is a regional shopping center and health care provider for 8 surrounding Georgia counties (Effingham, Screven, Jenkins, Emanuel, Candler, Evans, Tattnall, and Toombs). Approximately 26.5% of the Bulloch County labor force is employed by the government sector including the City’s largest employer, Georgia Southern University. Major private sector employers in the City include East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Wal-Mart Super Center, and Lowe’s Home Center.
There are three institutions of higher learning in the greater Statesboro area: Georgia Southern University located within the city limits of the City of Statesboro and Ogeechee Technical College and East Georgia State College located just outside the City on Highway 301 South. These Colleges are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive center of higher education south of Atlanta, Georgia Southern offers 119 degree programs and 125 majors in its eight colleges. Multiple programs range from Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs as well as undergraduate study. The University’s 2016 fall enrollment of 20,673 students come from 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 88 foreign countries.
East Georgia State College is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The East Georgia State College-Statesboro campus offers students smaller classes and personalized instruction. After the completion of 30 hours of college-level coursework, students who have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 can transfer to Georgia Southern University or another university-level institution or state college. The students that attend East Georgia State College-Statesboro are able to use the Georgia Southern University library, participate in campus meal plans, intramural sports, fitness extension facilities, athletic ticket sales, marching band, and more.
Ogeechee Technical College offers 125 programs of study including 26 diploma programs and 80 certificate programs as well as 19 Associate degrees in conjunction with Georgia Southern University and East Georgia College. In the academic year 2016 there were over 600 graduates. There are 15 public schools, 3 private and parochial schools, one state charter school and one home school association in Bulloch County that educate the area’s 10,500+ students.
Statesboro is a leader in health care in southeast Georgia with East Georgia Regional Medical Center located within the city limits employing more than 700 staff with 95 physicians representing a wide range of specialties. East Georgia is a 149-bed, $60 million hospital featuring a Women’s Pavilion and an adjacent professional office building. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, a distinction that is awarded only to those healthcare facilities that maintain the highest standards of quality. East Georgia Regional Medical Center offers a 24-hour physician-staffed emergency department, a Level II neonatal center, outpatient services including same day surgery and ambulatory care, a pain center, a cardiac catheterization lab, and state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures including MRI and CT.
The Statesboro VA Clinic is increasing their staff for another full-time doctor to see veterans in person for primary care. With over 1,000 veterans that regularly use the clinic’s services, the site has been judged eligible for an expansion. Veterans are able to see the doctor five days a week. Currently, the Statesboro Clinic’s in-house staff consists of two full time physicians, four registered nurses, one licensed practical nurse, an administrative person at the front desk and a contract security officer.
Recreational opportunities that enhance the quality of life for our citizens are plentiful in Statesboro. The Willie McTell Trail is a linear park that provides a pedestrian walk and bicycle path for local cycle enthusiasts between the Georgia Southern University campus and downtown Statesboro. The recently constructed S & S Greenway Trail extends nearly 3 miles from Gentilly Road to Five Points. Statesboro residents and visitors can also enjoy cultural and performing arts in the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts located on East Main Street. The Mission of the Averitt Center for the Arts is to provide quality arts opportunities for our community and serve as a centerpiece for a vibrant historic downtown. Recent additions to the Averitt Center include the Whitaker Black Box Theater on W. Main Street and the Roxey Remley Center for Fine Arts on Vine Street. Also located in Statesboro is Bulloch County’s family water park and aquatics center, “Splash in the Boro”. Splash in the Boro has a lazy river, a surfing ride, kiddie pools, water slides and even a ‘year round’ pool for swimming. In addition, it just added a full size wave pool. There are sixteen hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast Inns with over 1,100 rooms that are located in the greater Statesboro area.
Soccer fans now have a new pro franchise located in Statesboro, the Tormenta, which plays in the Premier Development League. The team drew an average of 2,000 fans to its home games in 2016 and hopes to qualify for the OPEN CUP and win a championship in the very near future.
Statesboro is served by Georgia Southern Railway Company (on Norfolk Southern Lines) and is utilized by numerous common freight carriers. Industrial recruitment, the process of attracting industrial jobs to the area, is often determined by proximity to the Port of Savannah, the 4th busiest port in the United States. The port is currently undergoing an extensive channel deepening project which will allow the Port to accommodate the much larger container ships. The project includes a forty-one mile expansion with the deepening of the river from 42 feet to 47 feet. The container ship “COSCO Development” recently arrived in the Port of Savannah heralding the largest ship ever to sail the Savannah River and U.S. East Coast. At 1,200 feet bow-to-stern, the “COSCO Development” is capable of carrying 13,000 cargo containers measuring 20 feet long each. That’s 30% more capacity than the last record-breaking ship that sailed into Savannah in 2016.
Benjamin Franklin said “without continued growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning”. The City of Statesboro continues to experience steady growth and progress in the areas of commercial/ retail expansion, residential development and amenities. The foresight to extend Brannen Street in the early 2000’s and the more recent construction of Brampton Avenue accompanied by the extension of city utilities provided the catalyst for national chains such as Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Hampton Inn, Books a Million, Chili’s, Walmart Neighborhood Grocery, T.J. Maxx, Panda Express and Hobby Lobby to now call Statesboro home. In addition, Statesboro welcomed the townhome developments of Aspen Heights on Fair Rd. and Beacon Place on the newly constructed Railroad Bed Road, large student oriented apartment complexes known as the Hamptons, the Forum, 111 Rucker and Monarch along US 301 South, and the inter-connecting bike and pedestrian McTell Trail and S&S Greenway Trail.
Like many cities, the growth of new commercial/ business areas, challenges the vitality and sustainability of the older commercial/ business sections. Unfortunately, the uptick in new commercial developments contributed somewhat to the decline of Statesboro’s downtown central business district. To help combat the migration of downtown businesses to the newer commercial developments, the City along with the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and others addressed the challenges on several fronts. First the City and DSDA initiated several new financial incentive programs. Second, the City beautified a segment of E. Main St. by implementing a large streetscape project which included the planting of shade trees and the installation of decorative sidewalks, benches, and street lighting. Third, the City and DSDA nurtured the “Town and Gown” relationship by partnering with Georgia Southern University and their College of Business Administration to develop an Entrepenuer Zone downtown through the rehabilitation of two (2) buildings. The renovated buildings now house a GSU operated, cutting edge, Fabrication Laboratory and a multi-faceted Business Incubator. Finally, an energetic committee made up of a wide spectrum of local citizens, along with assistance from the DSDA, the Statesboro Arts Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the City spent 30 months working together to apply, submit and present evidence as part of a contest which ultimately led to Statesboro being named as one of America’s Best Communities. Along with this recognition came the awarding of over $1,000,000 in prize money, which will be utilized as seed money to make much needed improvements along the US 301 South (S. Main St.) corridor and its nearby neighborhoods.
These initiatives have helped turn the tide of excessive building vacancies and once again, made the downtown area a desired place to locate a residence or business. The downtown area has seen the addition or renovation of over 100 new bedroom as well as many new businesses such as Little Italy Pizza, Gnats Landing, the Southern Palace, Yates-Astro, and Rick’s Glass, the expansion of the Averitt Center for the Arts (with 60,000 annual visitors), and the relocations of the consolidated campus of Ag South Banking and the Statesboro Convention and Business Center.
The extension of City of Statesboro water, sanitary sewer and natural gas to Phase I of the Gateway Industrial Park on US 301 S in the 1990’s helped persuade industries such as Briggs and Stratton, Viracon and one of the largest Walmart Distribution Centers east of the Mississippi to locate there. Additional upgrades to these same city utilities and the addition of a new water tower to satisfy fire suppression needs have more recently provided the basic utilities needed for Great Dane Trailers and W. L. Plastics to build plants in Phase II of the Gateway Industrial Park. With very limited space remaining in Phases I and II of the Gateway Industrial Park, the City of Statesboro has now extended water, sewer and natural gas to the US 301 S. / I-16 Interchange to serve the latest Industrial Park there, with the hope being this industrial park will continue the good fortune of attracting clean industries which provide good paying jobs to the workers of our community.
The City and Bulloch County jointly own the Statesboro Municipal Airport which is located approximately 30 minutes from Interstate 16, and 45 minutes from the Savannah International Airport, which is serviced by 7 major airlines. Statesboro is located approximately fifty miles from the Savannah ports while Bulloch County is equal distance between the ports of Charleston, Beaufort, Brunswick, and Jacksonville, giving several options on ports and sailing frequency.
In Statesboro there are 6 local radio stations, WHKN, WMCD, WPMX, WPTB, WWNS, and WVGS, and one daily newspaper, the Statesboro Herald. In addition, the Savannah Morning News reports on the news in Statesboro. Statesboro is covered locally by Northland Cable TV located within the city limits. Three television stations in Savannah also cover Statesboro regularly: WTOC (CBS), WJCL (ABC), and WSAV (NBC).
The City has 122 miles of roads, of which 121.5 are paved, and 16 traffic signals. Natural Gas is sold to over 3,000 customers while water and sewer service is provided by the City to 13,700 customers with an average daily water consumption of approximately 3 million gallons. Statesboro has 197 miles of sanitary sewer and 240 miles of water mains with 1,605 fire hydrants. The City maintains a class 3/8B ISO rating with 2 fire stations.
Utilities are provided by the following within the City:
City of Statesboro Water & Sewer, Sanitation, Storm water, & Natural Gas
Excelsior Electric (EMC) Electricity
Georgia Power Electricity
Frontier Communications Telecommunications
Bulloch Rural Telephone Telecommunications
Northland Communications Telecommunications