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Large Population Growth In Van Buren Will Affect Redistricting

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Large Population Growth In Van Buren Will Affect Redistricting

Van Buren County saw more than 11 percent growth over the last decade, the highest by percentage in the Upper Cumberland.

Mayor Greg Wilson said that number was not a surprise, based on the number of new residents moving in outside of Spencer. Wilson said the Piney, Cedar Grove and Cummingsville communities have seen the largest uptick.

Wilson said this growth will affect redistricting.

“We’re pretty much aware of two of those districts and it may end up affecting all districts, so to speak in some way,” Wilson said. “Here in the near future where we might have to take a little bit from this one, a little bit from that one. Which that’s just yet to be seen.”

Wilson said that at this time the county will need to add two commissioner seats. He said the plan is for the redistricting committee to begin meeting in September, hopefully concluding the process in November.

Wilson said the main reason he has heard people make the move into the county is for retirement, low taxes and a low cost of living. However, Wilson said that does mean there will be more demand on county services

“It increases more on our ambulance service, our EMS it also increases more onto our first responders,” Wilson said. “It affects the city and I’m not going to speak for them, our mayor there Mickey Robinson would probably tell you the same thing. That as far as the city water situation and then we have Fall Creek Falls utility district that also serves as part of our county about a fifth of our county. So it does have a significant bearing on utilities.”

However, Wilson said that with the growth comes optimism for the local economy.

“What we’re seeing now in the last little bit with that growth we see businesses that are beginning to open up new businesses,” Wilson said. “So we’re really glad for that.”

Wilson said that with this growth, it boosts the county’s chances at receiving federal funding and grants.


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