Growth spurts to continue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Try imagining a Shelby County with more than 300,000 people. This may not seem too difficult if you travel Interstate 65 northward every morning, but don&8217;t expect the growth, or congestion, to cease anytime soon.

A new transportation study shows the county&8217;s population could almost double in 30 years. What does that mean for our leaders?

It means that all of us hope they know their seven Ps &8212; proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.

Just in this issue and the last edition of the paper, we have discussed the growth of the Shelby County Arts Council, youth recreation fields in Chelsea and the widening of Highway 119 in Indian Springs Village.

Arts council instructor Susan Dennis said classes fill up quickly and there simply isn&8217;t room for every avenue they want to pursue. In Chelsea, there aren&8217;t even enough youth fields for the 500 players to hit balls on. The same is true in Helena, where the city looks to add a Community Recreation Center so kids there can have more room to shoot a few 3-pointers.

We don&8217;t even have to mention the numerous homes being built in Calera and roads filling up in Pelham on those long commutes to and from work.

What we can do as citizens is make sure our city, county and state leaders are aware of the needs, and that they stay on top of them.

The population of Shelby County lingers around 180,000 right now, and experts anticipate around 120,000 more service industry jobs in the next two decades.

Shelby County looks to remain one of the fastest growing counties in the state &8212; we just hope to keep it one of the best places to live no matter how large the population becomes.