Garner council members are interested in opening the spigot on residential growth.
Council members on Garner’s public works committee recently approved a plan to use an increase in water allocation from the city of Raleigh to encourage more residential construction.The idea hasn’t yet won the approval of the full council, but such committee reccommendations often do win such support.
It’s an interesting choice. Unlike commercial and industrial development, residential growth doesn’t bring income to Garner’s people.
Residential growth also requires more of government’s resources because the people who will live in those homes will require police services, fire and rescue services, streets on which to drive their cars and schools in which to educate their children.
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Council members are blazing a path not too many towns take. Most towns would prefer to see industrial or commercial development. Garner certainly wants that, too, but the committee’s response is that housing is a higher priority right now.
With an increase in the town’s housing stock, of course, the population is likely to increase and that could mean good things later on down the road such as an increase in the size of Garner’s slice of the pie when it comes to received shared revenues from the state – those monies parsed out to towns and counties based on population.
It would also mean that, as the town’s population grows, so too will the demand for other goods and services. In essence, it’s a Field of Dreams scenario in which if the town builds more homes, new businesses will come.
If Garner’s leaders follow the path their public works committee wants them to follow, they will, to a degree, be following a tried and true method of economic development. But it will certainly be a departure from today’s popular strategy.