Tabor’s growing, state too, Columbus declines

Tabor City’s Ritz Center and the N.C. Yam Festival, in this 2014 image, two quality of life positives for the town. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     North Carolina is growing, new U.S. Census figures show, and Tabor City is growing more.

     Population estimates released by the federal agency Thursday show Tabor City’s growth between April 2010 and July 2016 at 7.04 percent, eclipsing the statewide average of 6.5 percent.

     Tabor City’s growth is in stark contrast to an overall decline in population for Columbus County, dropping 2.11 percent in the same six-year span. Population fell in every municipality in the county except four, Bolton, Brunswick, Sandyfield and Tabor City. Growth in those towns was more modest, from .29 percent in Bolton to 2.91 percent in Sandyfield.

     Especially remarkable, Tabor City Town Manager Al Leonard said, was that Tabor City’s growth came entirely without annexation. The town has annexed no new area into the municipal limits this decade.

     Population growth should continue in Tabor City, with one new apartment complex just off of Swampfox Hwy East expected to open later this year, another one being considered elsewhere in the town.

     Leonard said he and the town staff have worked to improve housing availability in the town, and to make Tabor City an attractive place to live.

     “We keep on doing the best we can,” Leonard said.

     For more on this story see today’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.