Gatesville city leaders make changes to prepare for future growth

Posted at 9:12 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 22:46:23-05

Just about every Central Texas city has a plan to handle the growth that the areas see.

But one town has an interesting take on where it wants to go and it's already taken its first steps to get there.

Danny Loerwald remembers how the arrival of the state prisons changed Gatesville.

"Brought more people into town, a lot of people commute into work," Loerwald said.

But lots of those workers took their money home with them to other communities.

Now, as Gatesville city leaders ponder the future, they've taken some bold new steps like charging developers to register plans for new subdivisions.

"We were not collecting any money for staff time to be able to review plats and/or plans for their accuracy and validation,” said City Manager Bill Parry.

He said Gatesville has a new plan these days, and it starts with new fees.

"It's a growth positioning move, looking to the future,” said Parry. 

And Parry believes he knows where Gatesville's growth lies.

The city manager seems to believe Gatesville has exactly what it takes to become a good "bedroom community" and recent development seems to support that.

New subdivisions around the golf course and other parts of town have drawn people to Gatesville from other towns.

"This would be a great community for not only young families and professional families, perhaps some of those who at Space X or Waco of Killeen,” Parry said. 

He says Gatesville offers a small-town experience within driving distance of good jobs.

Long-time residents like Danny Loerwald say it could work.

"Oh, I think that'd be very doable. You know we're not too far from larger metropolitan areas, good highways to those places,” said Loerwald.

Because he and others believe Gatesville's future may lie in becoming a good place to come home to.

Now, Gatesville city leaders are set to update their Comprehensive Growth Plan.

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