Valdosta nears metropolitan status -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta nears metropolitan status

May 27, 2003

Valdosta - After years of waiting, metropolitan status is finally in site for Valdosta. "It's going to bring a whelm of positive changes for the entire region," said Rob Kellner, Metro Committee Chairman.

Metro status is given to cities with populations of 50,000 or more. The designation will bring new businesses, more jobs, and an overall improved economy. "We've had several companies consider moving to Valdosta, but they turned us down because they want to establish their business in a metro area," said Larry Hanson, City Manager.

Hanson says some changes will have to be made to accommodate the growing population. "There will be more day-time traffic, so we'll have to conisder widening roads and adding traffic signals," said Hanson.

Two key components in reaching metro status are Valdosta State University and Interstate 75. "VSU's enrollment just reached 10,000 so that's 20 percent of the census we needed," said Kellner. "And with the interstate here, we're on a major transportation route."

City officials say metro status shouldn't increase the cost of living, and will improve the overall quality of life in the area.

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