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Growth Task Force Releases Survey Results

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CARY — Spend, build and expand. That's the only way we can all grow together. A special task force says there's only one way to keep up with Cary's growth explosion. Stay ahead of it.

Two sets of results were released Tuesday night at the Cary Town Hall. One was from the growth management task force. The second came from Cary residents who were surveyed in the recent water bills. It appears both groups are on the same page with top concerns in building schools and solving traffic problems.

Creating a game plan for growth in Cary is a daunting assignment. With construction and the population on the rise, the task force wants to maintain a balance of residential, commercial and industrial development. It also suggests combining public schools with libraries and parks, and encouraging the creation of private and charter schools.

Members also recommend road improvements and traffic studies. In all, the growth management task force made 61 recommendations to the town council.

"We're suggesting and requesting that they come back to us and the citizens of Cary in three months and six months to give us an update on what they have done," explains growth management chairman, Jim Harrington.

The task force also released results of a survey of nearly 6,000 Cary residents who named schools and roads as their top priorities.

"You bring more and more people on in such rapid fashion," says committee member Nelson Dollar. "A lot of times, you have to catch up. With respect to schools, there's great concern with overcrowding and schools having sufficient classrooms."

Another area the growth management task force is worried about is making sure that Cary residents have a stronger voice in their government. To achieve that, they would like to take their report out into the community. They are asking the town council to form a group of task force members who can make presentations about their report to various civic groups in and around Cary.

The 50 page report was broken into five areas: roads, schools, water, parks and affordable housing.

Cary's growth this decade has been astronomical at 70%. Other Triangle communities are booming too. Garner's population has increased by 15%. Chapel Hill and Carrboro have grown 14% each. These communities will be watching Cary carefully to see how it deals with its growth.