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Hall County growth means new prospects for area
Grand Island has shown record growth in a number of ways. In fact, their population toppled over 60,000 people for the first time.
There is some other big news as well. A new county has been added to the Grand Island metropolitan area.
The federal government looks at areas where economic and social interactions are high between two areas.
The Grand Island metropolitan area used to include Hall, Merrick and Howard Counties. But now, add Hamilton County to the list.
"The metropolitan designation should result in some additional federal funds or the availability of those funds or at least the poss of having more local control over where those funds go to," said Grand Island Regional Planning Director Chad Nabity.
Nabity says Grand Island has been growing at a steady rate.
"There are jobs available there's things people can do here. All of that plays into it," said Nabity.
In fact, according to the last census Hall County's population from July 1, 2011 through July 1, 2012 is now at over 60,300 people.
Meanwhile Hastings' population sits at a little over 31,400 people. But the percentage of population gained in Hastings is .006 from 2011 to 2012.
"I really don't know unless it would be the fact that maybe Grand Island has more manufacturing than Hastings does at this point in time. I know they have a little more to choose from in variety of stores," said Holly Potts.
If you look at Hastings over the course of the last 30 years, there hasn't been a lot of change in Hastings or Adams County population.
However, some Hasting's residents aren't phased.
"I really don't think it makes me feel so bad. I like Hastings just the way it is. It's big enough to have a lot of opportunities and yet it's not so big that we have a lot of the other problems that other towns do," Potts said.
On the other side of I-80 though, Grand Island continues to boom.
"Grand Island has reached a level where the growth can manage to sustain itself," said Nabity.
What does the title metropolitan mean for the city? Well, it could mean more funding which means new projects.
"There will be some programic changes with things like Community Development Block Grant, programs and funding through housing and urban development that we may be eligible for because of this designation," Nabity said.
Of course, Nabity says there are downfalls to growth in any city, including more traffic volume, stretching budgets, and more pollution.
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