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Harrisburg On Edge Of Commercial Boom?

July 4, 2009, 10:03 PM by Erica Johnson

The 15th largest city in the state is on its way to another boom that could help move it up the ranks. Harrisburg's population is now at 4,300 and at the pace the town is growing, there's no doubt it will hit 5,000 in the next few years - a benchmark for development.

The sight of construction equipment isn't unusual in Harrisburg. In the last five years the city has doubled its population. The fast pace puts the town on track for hitting 5,000 people in the next few years: a mile post for commercial development.

“They need to make a living so they need to have the community that can support them,” Harrisburg Mayor Reed Ramstad said.

Several new businesses have already made their way to the small town including Schoenman's Building Materials and a new strip mall.

“We'd love to have the commercial come in because that's what really supports a town is commercial and I hope it does a good thing for us,” Ramstad said.

Still, as a town grows, it can quickly outgrow it's infrastructure so Harrisburg is taking steps now to avoid growing pains in the future.

“Right now we are putting up a new water tower which should help alleviate water problems,” Ramstad said.

Harrisburg recently received stimulus money to finish its sewer project, but as the town expands and the possibility of more development draws near it's a matter of waiting and watching to see just what will happen.

“If you would have told me 7 years ago, Harrisburg would be this big I would have said no way so you don't know what's going to happen,” Ramstad said.

Ramstad says he hopes a grocery store moves to Harrisburg so that some of the income could stay in town and possibly entice more food chains or businesses to move to town.

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