Photo credit: Michael Bennett, Nisqually Valley News,
Picture looking east from Prairie Park to area subdivision
“Yelm has officially surpassed small-town status with a population of 5,150.
Thats just 6 percent more than the 4,845 people living in the city in 2007.
[Ed. Note: That’s 15% greater than when Mayor Harding was elected Mayor in 2005 when Yelm recorded 4,450 people.]
Once a city grows beyond 5,000 people it must have seven council members.
The city accommodated the seven-council member rule early so that all the members were up to speed on city issues when the change went into effect, according to Community and Government Relations Coordinator Cindy Teixeira.
So what does this growth mean for the future?
‘We are growing, but our growth has been planned,’ Mayor Ron Harding said.
Its not just Yelm seeing continued growth in the face of a troubling national economy.
Harding said areas in the county around Yelm are also growing and the city is working to accommodate that growth as well.
‘All those people are affecting (us),’ Harding said. ‘Were still improving our transportation system (despite all the regional traffic).’
‘I think were doing a good job.’
The city has also seen an increase in commercial growth…
Harding said he believes that it is more beneficial to have more commercial development in the area.
By offering goods and services in the city, area residents dont have to commute further.
‘Its certainly an asset,’ Harding said. ‘It does lessen the impact on our transportation system.’
The increase in growth is also beneficial for the city in that there are building fees that go toward the transportation system.
‘I think our plan is working,’ Harding said. ‘Well see greater improvements in the next few years,’
quoting the Nisqually Valley News.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YELM’S FUTURE?
1. Suburbs Feeling the Pinch as Fuel Prices Soar
“Ever since the rise of the automobile in the 1950s, the American Dream has featured a home in the suburbs and two cars in the garage. Now the iconic white picket fence comes with a hefty price tag in the form of the cost of the gasoline needed to drive to work and to the supermarket, and the suburban idyll is under review.” quoting Truthout.
2. Housing prices tumble in June
The Olympian reported on July 10th:
“Thurston County home prices slid more than 9 percent from June 2007 to June 2008, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported, the steepest year-over-year drop this year and the largest decline South Sound real-estate experts could remember.
Broker Doug Burger, who has spent nearly 30 years in real estate, said there have been times when South Sound median prices remained flat, but they didn’t fall.
The is the first time I’ve actually seen (prices) drop, especially to this degree,” he said. “To take this kind of turn is surprising for everybody.
The combined median price for a single-family residence and condo last month was $247,000, down 9.2 percent from the $272,000 reported in June 2007, Northwest MLS data show.”
While this writer applauds Mayor Harding and the City of Yelm for their work on the side connector streets, attracting multi-national chains like Yum! Brands KFC/Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Wal-Mart have come at a cost to this town’s charm, as local business owners are struggling and even the venerable Arnold’s Country Inn closed its doors. So, the usual commercial name brands are the only ones with deep enough pockets to build here.
At what cost is the continued growth to our resources?
– potable water
– recharging the aquifer
Mayor Harding said,
“Its not just Yelm seeing continued growth in the face of a troubling national economy.
Harding said areas in the county around Yelm are also growing and the city is working to accommodate that growth as well.”
The whole country, state & county are having a major slowdown, Mr. Mayor!
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
ARE YOU STARTING TO FEEL THE BELT TIGHTENING YOURSELF,
REGARDLESS THAT THE MAYOR DOES NOT SEE IT?
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PRICE FOR THE MAYOR’S GROWTH PLACED ON YOUR BACKS IN MORE TAXES?
– A new proposed city hall
– A new proposed recreation center
– A new library by 2012
– A school’s levy
– A new High School classroom tax potential in a few years
– A possible library levy
– A fire levy
SHARE YOUR STORIES!