Mar 17, 2013 4:27 PM
FLORENCE, Ky. (AP) - Boone County continues to boom, and the northern Kentucky community seems poised for a new surge of economic development.
In the first two months of 2013, 23 commercial projects have gotten at least preliminary approval for state tax incentives.
Meanwhile, the residential population continues to grow. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Boone County's population went from 57,589 in 1990 to 85,991 in 2000. The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/XrwBB0) reports that the current population is more than 120,000 people, and the community's character has changed from mostly rural to a diverse economic base with growing residential neighborhoods.
Figures from the Kentucky State Data Center show its recent growth is more than other counties in northern Kentucky. The center estimates Boone County could have a population of 186,373 by 2030.
Boone County experienced a 38 percent population increase between 2000 and 2010, while nearby Campbell County saw a 1.9 percent increase and Kenton County a 5.5 percent increase.
"Boone County has been at the forefront and has really driven Northern Kentucky's economic development boom," said Karen Finan, senior vice president of the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation. "The availability of real estate, the growth in the workforce, as well as the retail and medical services, create a strong business environment."
The grown has perks for everyone in the community, Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore said.
"The greatest benefit of the economic growth is the continued revenue provided to our working families that helps them pay their bills," he said.
Mazak Corp. opened its facility in Florence in 1974 and the machine-tool factory is continuing to expand.
Mazak spokesman George Yamane said the company, which currently employs 450 workers, chose the location because land was cheap and the region had a strong presence in the industry.
"We were looking for space in New York or New Jersey, but land is very expensive there," Yamane said. "Obviously now we know we made the right decision, and we have steadily continued to grow our operation here. The community has been very good to us."
The economic downturn slowed growth in the area, but didn't stop it.
"While the population growth is at a lower percentage than we saw previously, it is still growth," Moore said. "Many communities would love to grow as Boone County has in this slow economy."
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com
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