Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Basehor ‘still growing,’ according to census

July 10, 2008

The latest estimated census numbers show the city of Basehor continues to live up to the words its emblem bears: ": and still growing."

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its 2007 population estimates showing Basehor had increased by 261 residents from a population of 3,468 in July 2006 to 3,729 in July 2007 - an increase of 7.5 percent in one year.

"I think with the housing market the way it is in the metropolitan area, it seems like we're still growing a little bit, so I think that's a good sign," Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia said.

Since the 2000 census, Basehor has seen a roughly 67 percent increase in population. And, with an increase in population of 5 to almost 8 percent per year, Garcia said it's no surprise to see the numbers up again for 2007.

"Although our building permits are down, we still knew we were going to be growing a little," he said.

Preparations for this steady growth have been in the works in recent years with the construction of a new library, a new post office, a handful of new businesses and a planned expansion of the wastewater treatment facility. The city's comprehensive plan also outlines future plans for growth.

"The comprehensive plan and updating the zoning regulations - that's kind of getting us ready for the growth that is to come," Garcia said.

With a growing population comes an increase in school enrollment.

Basehor-Linwood School District Assistant Superintendent David Howard said the district usually plans for about a 2 to 2.5 percent growth in enrollment each year and with Basehor's population up and Linwood's slight increase from 385 to 389, that rule is expected to continue.

However, the district expects to see a plateau or decrease in the number of Basehor-Linwood Virtual School students because several other virtual schools have popped up in the area in recent years.

"As far as our residential students, we expect to be up about 25 to 35 kids," Howard said.

Schools in the district are already experiencing overcrowding with some buildings creeping up on capacity. District patrons acknowledged the district's growing population by approving a $39.9 million bond issue in October 2007. Construction on all projects, including two new school buildings and an addition to an existing school, among other improvements, is expected to be complete by 2010.

"Obviously the school district and voters also felt that we are going to continue to see a growth, so those new schools will help to alleviate those situations of overcrowding we have now," Howard said.

Other nearby cities including Tonganoxie, Lawrence, Lansing and Bonner Springs also experienced a small increase in population.

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