Wake On Track To Become Most Populated County In N.C.
Posted July 27, 2005 5:30 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — With a new job in Research Triangle Park and a new house in Wake County, Kevin Jones' choice to live in Raleigh was an easy one.
"I'm kind of spoiled," Jones said. "It takes me 15 minutes to get to work. It's just a good investment in general."
Jones moves in Friday. Thousands more will do the same.
At the current construction rate, Wake County is expected to reach 1 million residents in the next decade. The county's population could surpass Mecklenburg County in seven years to become the largest in the state.
With 30 new homes being built every day, there is more demand on the county's roads, schools and services.
Assistant County Manager Joe Durham says the growth is controlled and manageable but admits keeping up with schools presents challenges. It will likely be up to taxpayers to help.
Right now, the county is considering a $600 million school construction bond. The county is also working with cities and towns on growth plans.
A recent study by a North Carolina State University economist found new home construction can support new services, but the head of the Wake County Taxpayers Association still has concerns.
"If there is not enough business and industry to supplement it, then it's going to be increasing the burden on residential taxpayers," said Russell Caps, a spokesman for the group.
The hottest area for new construction is Raleigh with the average price for a new home more than $200,000.
In the next few years, more new construction can be expected in Eastern Wake County as the new Highway 64 Bypass is expected to create a building boom for Zebulon and Knightdale.