Archive for Thursday, July 7, 2005

Population increases more than 4 percent

July 7, 2005

Growth is up in Eudora, according to a census estimate released last Thursday, but the town can only go so far city clerk Donna Oleson said.

The census covered the roller-coaster population growth in Eudora over the last four years, including a rate that has doubled from 2003-2004.

"I think eventually we'll slow down because of the fact we'll run out of property and we can't furnish utilities," Oleson said. "As soon as that gets figured out we'll start booming again."

According to the survey, Eudora's total population for 2004 broke the 5,000 mark, topping off at 5,119, a 4.4 percent increase over the estimated 2003 population.

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle believes the growth could be attributed to several reasons.

"I know our mill levy is the lowest around and our assessed evaluation is pretty high," Pyle said.

The growth rate for 2003-2004 is larger than the previous year, but it isn't the largest the town has seen in the last half decade.

During the 2001-2002 cycle the report showed a growth rate of more than 7 percent. Translated into people, the report shows that Eudora grew by more than 341 citizens that year. Since the last official census in 2000, Eudora has grown more than 18 percent.

The town hasn't officially looked at the numbers from the Census Bureau yet, but they do keep a running total of new building permits.

The permits give them a fair view of growth, or at least how many new properties are being built, Oleson said.

City records show that in 2004 the city issued 108 single-family building permits. This year as of June, the city has issued 35 new permits, including 11 in May.

"There's a lot of good things happening in Eudora," Pyle said. "We've got a lot of what I call quality people moving into town."

The experiences of these people could help ultimately improve Eudora, Pyle said.

"They've all lived somewhere else and have ideas," Pyle said. "We'll be able to incorporate some of these into the community."

Compared to growth of other small towns in the area, Eudora's population increase was in the mid range.

Between 2003 and 2004, Wellsville and Osawatomie each grew less than 1 percent, and Baldwin City grew 1.6 percent. De Soto's population increased by 4.4 percent.

On the high end, populations in Gardner, Spring Hill and Basehor jumped by more than 10 percent.

All figures cited are annual estimates of the population for incorporated places in Kansas through July 1, 2004. The census bureau makes the estimates each year and releases them the following June.

Among all the cities, one aspect of growth that seems to be a common theme is the pressing need for greater and better infrastructure.

"That's always a problem because it's hard to stay ahead of them when you're growing as you are," Pyle said.

The constant growth of Eudora has put city employees in uncharted waters.

"We had such strong growth in the last ten years that this is all new, too," Oleson said.

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