Vincent planning for future population growth

Even though Vincent is one of Shelby County’s smallest municipalities, town leadership is planning for more growth than ever before.

According to updated numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, between April 1, 2000-July 1, 2009, Vincent grew from 1,853 residents to 2,024 residents — an increase of more than 9 percent. Previous numbers released by the bureau claimed Vincent grew by 5 percent.

Such an increase has shown Mayor Ray McAllister Vincent is more than capable of adding businesses and families.

“When you think about what’s happened in the last five years, you’ve got to say, ‘Wait a minute, we did have growth, good growth,’” he said.

McAllister said the area’s new Windsor Trace subdivision has added 14-16 new homes and families, while the Weber Group, a development company that owns 380 acres off of Shelby County 81, has been approved for a special district zoning status, which will allow the company to build a subdivision including up to 1,200 homes.

McAllister said the company plans to include townhomes, patio homes, garden homes and larger houses in the subdivision, along with a commercial center and a park area. Weber also plans to offer the Shelby County Board of Education space to build a school if necessary, and will set aside land to build a fire station.

While such plans have been on hold due to the down economy, McAllister said recent talks with the Weber Group have been encouraging.

Working with such companies are part of Vincent officials’ plan to control growth, McAllister said.

“We want to control our growth. If you let it go wild, you get what you don’t want,” he said. “We’re going to be very cautious and very careful. We’re going to make sure as we grow, we grow with quality.”

To help the town grow, town officials are working on a long-range plan for growth. Police and fire protection will have to improve, as well as sewer services, McAllister said.

“We all know it takes money to provide those services, and that’s what we’re working on with industry and additional commercial growth that will help us get to that point,” he said.

McAllister said he’s seeking out government grants and funding to help get town improvement projects on track, as well.

“We’re excited about the future of Vincent growing and being a significant town in Shelby County,” McAllister said. “I think personally, the people and us as well would like to see Vincent grow but keep that small town family feel. I think with the plans coming along, we’ll be able to do that.”