By the year 2025, Houston County is projected to have nearly 180,000 residents. That's according to the Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker. He says the county is already seeing this growth on the streets.
In subdivisions all over Houston County, more homes are springing up. “It happened so fast. I just didn't expect it,” said Alexandra Rasul, homeowner. “We were looking to move to Houston County, and at the time, this subdivision looked more like an empty lot.”
Now, nearly eight years later, homeowner Alexandra Rasul says she and her family are surrounded by neighbors, with more on the way. “It's good. That just shows that the economy is growing and I'm happy about that,” said Rasul.
Houston County leaders spoke about the extra foot traffic on the streets during the first Eggs and Issues breakfast of 2018. “There were 953 homes constructed here in Houston County in 2017, which obviously is a huge number,” said Stalnaker. Chairman Tommy Stalnaker says the value of those homes are about $185 million. “I think the most recent projection states in the year 2025. We're looking at more than 185,000 people.”
And with rapid growth, there's a need for more law enforcement officers and county employees. But Stalnaker says because of the state's "tax cap" on Houston, they're looking for other ways to raise funds. “We do not have the ability to raise taxes to generate more money to add people to personnel, and the most we could raise our millage now is two-tenths of a mill, which is our general operations budget. That's about $400,000.”
But Stalnaker says buying new homes is a positive sign and another way to raise the tax digest and raise more money.
Houston County's population has grown about 9 percent since 2010. Stalnaker says right now, the county has a population of about 153,000.