John F. Kennedy said “change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” The City of Statesboro is currently experiencing rapid change as a result of unprecedented growth in commercial/retail expansion and residential developments. The extension of Brannen Street to Veterans Memorial Parkway, on the east side of the City, has resulted in a commercial development that includes: Buckhead Plaza, a new branch bank, a new Toyota dealership and, coming in the Fall of 2007, a new full-service Holiday Inn with a meeting/conference center. A retail shopping center, including Talbot’s, recently opened on U.S. 301 South across from Georgia Southern University, while renovations and expansions of existing structures brought new businesses to the downtown area on West Main Street. The extension of major water and sewer lines along U.S. 301 South to Veterans Memorial Parkway and in the Cawana Road area, along with the City’s Subdivision Incentive Program, will be the catalyst for several new residential subdivisions to be located inside the city limits. As Statesboro continues to annex additional property and gain new developments within the city limits, the demands on the City’s infrastructure and service delivery will also increase. To accommodate these growing demands, the City will continue planning initiatives that will direct future growth and address priorities in a fiscally responsible manner allowing us to be certain to meet the future head-on.
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 our residents, businesses, and visitors. 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 a growing economy facilitated by a strong industrial base, a growing university, and a regional medical center. This regional economic hub is located 15 miles off Interstate 16 and offers many educational and vocational opportunities that provide a competitive advantage for a strong workforce.
Statesboro was incorporated on December 19, 1803, with a population of less than 25 people. The City’s population for 2000 was 22,698. A study performed by the Department of Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology has determined the 2006 population to be 26,534. According to the 2000 census, the City’s population is 56.2% Caucasian, 40.2% African-American, 2.1 % Hispanic, and 1.5% Asian or other. Those 18 years of age and older are 85.7% of the population and those 65 years of age and older are 9.2% of the population. The 2006 median income per household in Statesboro is $33,946 and the per capita income for Bulloch County is $18,320. The unemployment rate has remained very low for at least the last five years. In March 2007, the unemployment rate for Statesboro and Bulloch County was 3.4% and 4.1% for the State of Georgia.
The City of Statesboro is the county seat of Bulloch County, Georgia, located in the southeastern corner of the state. Statesboro is located 194 miles east of Atlanta, 76 miles from Augusta, 144 miles from Charleston, SC. and 168 miles from Jacksonville, Fla. It is located 15 miles from Interstate 16, and is on US Highways 301, 80, and 25, and State Routes 73, 46, 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 13 square miles 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 69% in January and 72% in July. Statesboro is located a short distance from Sea Island, Georgia, site of the 2004 G-8 Summit and 55 miles west of Savannah, Georgia, site of the 1996 Centennial Olympics Sailing Venue.
Statesboro, with its growing economy, 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. This is reflected in the low unemployment rate of 3.4%. Approximately 24% 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 SuperCenter, and Lowe’s Home Center.
There are two 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 located just outside the City on Highway 301 South. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Georgia Southern offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the doctoral level in more than 120 majors in its eight Colleges. The University’s 16,425 students are from all 50 states and 86 countries.
Ogeechee Technical College offers over 110 programs of study including 19 diploma programs and 27 certificate programs as well as Associate degrees in conjunction with Georgia Southern University and East Georgia College. There are 15 public schools, 3 private and parochial schools and one charter school in Bulloch County. These schools educate the area’s 9,732 students. A total of 571 seniors graduated from these schools in 2006.
Statesboro is a leader in health care in southeast Georgia with East Georgia Regional Medical Center located within the city limits employing more than 750 employees and 75 physicians representing a wide range of specialties. East Georgia is a 150-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 Market District is a new 90 acre development located adjacent to East Georgia Regional Medical Center on Fair Road which has almost built out all the available parcels with the exception of a big-box retail lot, and a multi-family tract.
Recreational opportunities in the City are plentiful. The Willie McTell Trail is a linear park that provides a pedestrian walk and bicycle path from the Georgia Southern University campus to downtown Statesboro. Bulloch County recently received funding to provide a bike trail from the City of Statesboro to nearby Brooklet, Georgia. Also located in Statesboro is Bulloch County’s family water park and aquatics center, “Splash in the Boro.” Nineteen hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast Inns with 816 rooms are located in the greater Statesboro area.
Statesboro’s residents and visitors alike enjoy cultural and performing arts in the David H. Averitt Center for the Arts located on East Main Street. Restoration of the Old Bank of Statesboro, originally built in 1911, as a venue for community arts, activities and performances was funded primarily by SPLOST in the amount of $4.3 million and has played a key role in the revitalization of downtown. The Averitt Center, home of the Emma Kelly Theater, is operated by the Statesboro Arts Council and is a vibrant centerpiece in the City’s historic downtown.
A $530,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant (TE-21) was awarded to the City in 2005 by the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve sidewalks and curb and gutter, and to provide for landscaping and the installation of decorative benches and lighting in the downtown area on East Main Street. An additional $300,000 has been approved to fund the West Main phase of the project. The East Main Street phase of the project should begin in 2007. The 2006 completion of a new parking lot on West Main Street near the Post Office has spurred renovation of old facilities and is playing a major role in revitalization of the west end of downtown.
Statesboro is served by Ogeechee Railway Company and numerous common freight carriers. 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. The City of Statesboro, Georgia Southern University, and Northland Cable have partnered to provide the community with a local government access channel, channel 97. Three television stations in Savannah also cover Statesboro regularly: WTOC (CBS), WJCL (ABC), and WSAV (NBC).
The City has 117 miles of roads of which 116 are paved and 30 streetlights. Natural Gas is sold to 3,321 customers while Water and Sewer service is provided by the City to over 13,000 customers with an average daily water consumption of 3.09 million gallons. Statesboro has 171 miles of sanitary sewer and 198 miles of water mains with 1,637 fire hydrants. The City maintains a class 3 ISO rating with 2 fire stations.
Utilities are provided by the following within the City:
- City of Statesboro Water, Sewer, Sanitation and Natural Gas
- Excelsior Electric Electricity
- Georgia Power Electricity
- Frontier Communications Telecommunications
- Northland Cable TV Cable Television
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, Human Resources, Finance, Planning and Engineering), Judicial (Municipal Court), Public Safety (Police and Fire), and Public Works (Streets, Sanitation, Water and Sewer and Gas).