Herald and Journal, March 4, 2002

Local cities growing fast

By Ryan Gueningsman

The cities of Winsted and Howard Lake both have had more than 30 percent growth in population during the past decade, and other local cities are growing also, according to the most recent census.

Winsted also had a large increase with a 32 percent population rise between 1990 and 2000, with the number of individuals living in town rising from 1,581 to 2,094.

City Administrator Brent Mareck attributed the population rise as a result of the westward expansion of the metropolitan area.

"The appeal of Winsted is just that it has the small town area, yet close to the cities," Mareck said.

Winsted has also seen new developments in the past 10 years, including Winsted on the Lake and Pheasant Run.

Another thing that draws people to Winsted is the large number of neat events that take place each year, Mareck said.

"There's Winstock, Summer Festival, Winter Festival, and so many other neat things that go on around town, too," Mareck said.

Winsted also had a large number of new housing units built in the past decade ­ 237 ­ which is an increase of 41 percent.

Residents of Lester Prairie saw their town increase in size from 1,180 people in 1990 to 1,377 in 2000.

City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk said the growth is due to people wanting to get out of the fast life in the metro area.

"I think that it's just people wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities area," Pawelk said.

The city also has seen the Prairie Ridge housing development move in and is expecting new growth as a result of that.

Pawelk also attributes the growth as the result of usually lower taxes and cheaper housing.

Lester Prairie had 70 new households go up in the last 10 years.

Howard Lake had a 38 percent increase of residents from 1990 to 2000.

There are now 1,853 residents living in Howard Lake, up from the previous census in 1990 which had 1,343 people living in town.

"Howard Lake should hit 2,000 ­ perhaps even more in the next two years ­ if plans go through related to residential development," city consultant Doug Borglund said.

Howard Lake has been thriving off of the Highway 12 construction, and has also put up a new office building at the location of the former Werner Hardware building. There have been 227 new housing units counted since 1990.

Howard Lake's growth was also fueled in part by the annexation of lake property in 1994, with 92 people living around the lake being added.

The city of Waverly experienced a steady 22 percent population rise since 1990, according to the census.

There are four major plans for residential development progressing, as well as an industrial park for Waverly, said Waverly planning and zoning officer Adrian Duske.

These developments include the Eagle Creek Development, which will be geared at senior housing, the Carrigan Lake Development, located on Carrigan Lake, Summerfields, and the Graham Property, which will have approximately 175-200 lots, and be the home to the future industrial park.

The cities population is now 732, up 132 since 1990, in which the population was 600.

The city of Montrose experienced a 13 percent increase in population numbers.

Up 135 people from 1990, Montrose's population is sitting now at 1,143.

The city has seen an increase of 87 households in the community as well.

The results of the 2000 census are back and available through a web site called Datanet, which is sponsored by Minnesota Planning.


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