Local town expects major growth
CLAYTON Clayton in Johnston County is expected to triple in size over the next 10 years. And town leaders are trying to figure out how to handle the growth. Town leaders are welcoming growth with concerts in the downtown park and other events to make the town more inviting. They're bringing in new businesses and more affordable homes. Growth is being seen as a good thing and longtime resident Tracy Hackal say she doesn't mind. "We're not opposed to the growth we actually like the growth it's more opportunity," Hackal said. Newcomer Meka White welcomes it too. "I know they're doing a lot of building as far as schools there isn't too much overcrowding here and they're really prepared to take the growth that's coming in the area," White said. According to the town's strategic growth plan adopted Monday night, the town has grown from about 5,000 to 15,000 people over the last 10 years, and is expected to nearly triple in size again. "You're looking at a population in 10 years or so of 40,000 people and build out as far as land use would be about 80,000 to100,000 people," Mayor Pro Tem Bob Ahlert said. The biggest concern is the infrastructure --mainly water and treating wastewater. They have tapped Raleigh for help and are building a new treatment plant. The town could pass a policy requiring front end loading washers in homes. Those who have bought a home, now have an easier commute with the new 70 Bypass, but traffic is something they will keep tackling. Surprisingly there is no talk of raising taxes. "We just recently passed our budget for this year at the last meeting and there was no tax increase at all with that budget," Ahlert said. Town officials say the plan should not be seen as a red flag that taxes will be going up soon, though people that spoke with Eyewitness News say they would be willing to pay more if it made Clayton an even better place to live.
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