The theme of Tuesday morning’s first Breakfast with the Mayors of 2020 could be boiled down to five words: growth, growth and more growth.
With six of the seven mayors in the county participating in Franklin Tomorrow's quarterly Breakfast with the Mayors at Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin, each one highlighted their particular community’s achievements and pointed out what they’re anticipating in the years to come. All six said something about the growing population and the challenges it presents.
“We are going to see significant growth, and this growth is not just localized to Williamson County and cities in Williamson County, but it’s the entire region,” Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said. “We’re looking at 14 counties, and we see all of them growing significantly. But it looks like we are probably going to see the largest growth [in Williamson County] of any of those areas.”
Moore was joined on the stage by Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little, Nolensville Mayor Jim Alexander, Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham and Thompson’s Station Mayor Corey Napier. Fairview Mayor John Blade was sick and unable to attend.
Anderson addressed the topic of growth by pointing out projections for each of the 14 regional counties. Williamson County, with a current population of just over 220,000, is expected to reach nearly half a million residents by 2045 — or by an increase of 149%, easily the highest rate in the region.
“We in the county — and I know the cities are dealing with these large growth numbers — need to look at what can do to be better prepared in 2045,” Anderson said.
A leading hot-button topic when it comes to growth, of course, is transportation. Moore acknowledged the South Corridor Study for Davidson, Williamson and Maury counties as a long-term initiative for improving traffic movement, but said he’s optimistic things are happening now that can help.
“We’ve placed a lot of emphasis on the South Corridor Study, and that study is supposed to cast a vision of how we’re going to solve some of our transportation issues in the future,” Moore said. “But there have been some significant changes this year with Gov. [Bill] Lee, who is now talking about the issue. Not that Gov. [Bill] Haslam was not involved in transportation, but Gov. Lee is putting additional emphasis on the issue. He’s told his commissioners and other folks that he wants to solve this problem.”