Growing pains continue for Lee County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Growing pains continue for Lee County

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February 28, 2006

Lee County - Lee County is the 43rd fast growing community in the country, but an area economist predicts growth will slow down some this year.

Tuesday morning, Darton College Economist Dr. Amit Singh told Chamber of Commerce members that steep gas prices and higher interest rates are expected to slow residential and commercial growth in Lee County. But Dr. Singh said Lee County is still expect to make more gains than Albany.

The Chamber's Executive Director, Winston Oxford said several retailers and restaurant chains are seriously looking to build in Lee County in the next two years.

"A number of them are getting really close - commercial investors, that is. Retail stores, several big boxes, to include restaurants. And I've even talked to a number of hotels," said Oxford.

In the last 15 years, Lee County's population has grown 85-percent%, with more than 435 new housing permits issued last year.

At the meeting, Oxford urged voters to pass a continuance of the county's one cent sales tax for education when they head to the polls in March. He said the money is needed to build new schools which will ease major overcrowding.

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