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April 10, 2006

Moultrie - The city of Moultrie is undergoing rapid growth in population and businesses. All that growth has created a squeeze on schools, recreational facilities and even subdivisions, but plans are underway to relieve the pressure, and grow Moultrie even more.

It could be said that the city of Moultrie has a people problem. Bob Swadel says,"Where are we going to put the people? And where are they moving to? And how do we accommodate them and do we have the infrastructure in place already and can we react fast enough to try to stay ahead of the curve?"

A curve that leads Moultrie from a field of dreams to a dream destination. Patsy Browning of Browning Brass Key Realty says, "Never seen it grow like it's growing now. It's growing very rapidly."

So rapidly that homes and home sites sell themselves. New subdivisions are popping up all over town. Bobby and Patsy Browning have already sold two of the 250 lots available for a new gated community, and it isn't even listed. A far cry from the way business was just two years ago. Bobby says, "Are we going to be able to sell this property or not? Today, it's like, who's going to buy it?"

And whoever buys could have kids or grand kids who will need a place to go to school, but some of them, like Odom Elementary are at or near capacity. Superintendent Leonard McCoy says, "We accept the fact that we're going to grow. We welcome it. We would much rather deal with the issues of growth than a declining enrollment and because we think it's just indicative of a healthy economy and Colquitt County being a great place to live."

And apparently a great place to play as well. Membership at the YMCA has doubled in the past two years, but where will all those new members park? Swadel says, "I'd rather be adding parking than have to worry about nobody being in the parking lot."

But it appears there will be a lot more lots in the future.

The Colquitt County School System has grown by close to 215 students this year, the biggest increase in about 10 years. There are currently renovation and expansion projects underway, but no plans for building new schools.

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