Census estimates show Baldwin County growing faster than the res - FOX10 News | WALA

Census estimates show Baldwin County growing faster than the rest of state

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BALDWIN COUNTY, AL (WALA) -

The latest US Census estimates are in and they show Baldwin County outpacing the rest of the state in growth.  While the numbers show Mobile County losing people from 2016 to 2017, Baldwin County added several thousand. 

Road construction, groundbreakings and new home construction are all signs of growth.  It’s something that Baldwin County residents have become accustomed to in recent years.  Now, more than ever there’s a push to keep up with a population that’s growing faster than any other in the state.  New home construction is on the rise and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

“We were the first house to be built in here by Truland in almost five years so as soon as our house got broke down, started getting done, then the next house, then the next house, then the next house,” said homeowner, Terri Dillard.

Dillard’s home is just one of many Truland Homes is building in Austin Park Estates off County Road 54 and other subdivisions around the county.  While not at its height from 2007, the new home market is booming again to keep up with the growth.

“We’ve been growing for the last four or five years at about a twenty to thirty percent rate and already this year, we’re well on our way to record numbers in sales,” said Truland Homes Sales Manager, Dan Beasley.

It’s easy to see why when you look at the numbers.  Census reports estimate Baldwin County’s growth between 2010 and 2017 at 16.5 percent, surpassing 30,000 people.  From 2016 to 2017 alone, the county added more than 5,000 residents.  With the growth come some concerns.

“Our county roads can’t handle what they’re doing now so a lot of our neighbors have talked about it.  That’s what we’re worried about,” Dillard explained.  “The roads…the schools.”

The school system’s pay-as-you-go program consists of a long-term, strategic plan to address growing student populations and build new schools.  Restore funding from the BP settlement is allowing for the widening of several state highways.  As for county roads in and out of growing suburbs, county officials say it will likely take the state letting more Baldwin County money staying at home to make that happen.

“At the end of the day, the state of Alabama and those folks in Montgomery have got to realize that it’s time for Baldwin County to get its share of state spending and state revenue and that’s just not happening right now,” said Baldwin County commissioner, Chris Elliott.

That’s been a point of contention for some time.  The way the system works is the state gets its share of tax revenues from lodging, retail sales.  It’s then divvied out to every county in the state.  Since Baldwin County provides such a large percentage of that, county officials want more sent back in return.  
 

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