To the Editor:
Recent stories of growth in Middle Tennessee continue to make headlines.
According to CERT, the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee, between 2017 and 2018 Rutherford County grew at a 3.1% growth rate. The estimated July 1, 2018 Rutherford County population according to the US Census Bureau is 324,890.
The Davidson County economic engine that is feeding much of the growth gets 8.6% of its workforce from Rutherford County. This is the greatest percentage of any county, according to CERT data. If the 3% growth rate holds steady, Rutherford County has a projected population of close to 586,787 residents in 20 years. That is equivalent to 55% growth. The demand for both physical resources and human capital to service our community will only increase.
80,877 people commute daily to and from Rutherford County to Davidson County. Nationally the commute from Rutherford to Davidson County is among the most congested in the United States and places 19th, according to the TomTom Traffic Index.
If the 80,877 commuters grows by 3% every year that could also put nearly 146,027 people driving to and from our community to Davidson County daily. How will we address this or what will we do to encourage our workers to remain in our county rather than making the commute to our neighbor to the North?
We need schools, roads, emergency responders, hospitals, government administrative buildings and a host of other facilities and infrastructure. All of this comes with a cost. How we manage that while at the same time making sure that the public is well served is the challenge. We must insure the financial stability of our community and still provide a the quality of life our citizens deserve and demand. We cannot do that by cutting necessary services for short-term gain at the expense of long-term vitality.
Assessor of Property, Rutherford County Tennessee