How Twin Falls City Officials Plan To Keep Up With The Growth
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) In 2000 the city of Twin Falls had a population of around 34,000. By the 2010 census, the population had grown to more than 44,000. The latest projections have twin falls at over 50,000 people by 2020.
Growth in Twin Falls is rapid. Over the past twenty years, the population has increased by over fifty percent. And, that rate is expected to continue as more businesses, industry and people move to the magic valley. But, with that comes the need for more city services.
"So I think this all starts about 18 months ago, maybe two years ago when the City made a commitment to go through a pretty extensive strategic planning process," said Twin Falls City Council member Shawn Barigar.
That strategic plan involved businesses, home builders and stakeholders in the community. The plan is what is supposed to keep the city ahead of the growth during the next two decades.
"Gathered all of this information and laid out some really specific initiatives over the next twenty years to get us to where we want to be. So that includes things like public safety, the fire department, police department, addressing those staffing needs," said Barigar.
The council adopted the strategic plan earlier this year. Next year's budget has been planned and tied to those specific goals.
As Twin Falls continues to grow education is also a concern. In fact the Twin Falls School District has already seen a significant increase in enrollment.
"These last two years when we've added four percent growth to each of the last two years," said Twin Falls School District Superintendent Wiley Dobbs.
That equals seven hundred and twenty six new students over the past two years. The school district formed a committee to address the growing concerns.
"They've looked at the needs, they've analyzed the data, the enrollment situation and they've came up with a recommendation that was presented to our school board in July of this past summer," said Dobbs.
The committee is recommending two new elementary schools, a new middle school and adding on to Canyon Ridge High School.
The other concern as Twin Falls continues to grow is a public transportation system. Federal guidelines require a city to provide some form of public transportation when the census population reaches fifty thousand. City officials are already planning for that requirement and hope to be ready when that time comes.