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Come grow with us

Latest Census figures from the 2010 Census show Bainbridge has bucked the trend of population decline in Southwest Georgia. The same is not true for Decatur County; however, which joins eight other counties in Southwest Georgia in the “lost population” column.

While Decatur County lost 398 people between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, the City of Bainbridge gained 8.31 percent over the same 10-year period. The year 2000 figure was 11,722, while the 2010 figure is 12,697. Apparently, 975 people made the decision to call the City of Bainbridge their home over the last 10 years.

The rest of the towns in Decatur County did not fare well. Attapulgus lost 8.74 percent; Brinson 4.44 percent and Climax 5.72 percent. This is disappointing news for all those communities, all of which, except for Brinson, had reported population gains over the years 1990-2000.

The five counties of the region who reported population gains were Calhoun, Colquitt, Grady, Lee and Thomas.

The 2000 Census showed Decatur at 28,240, and 2010 at 27,842.

These numbers would tend to indicate that while the City of Bainbridge, the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority, have made some strides in their efforts to attract new residents and businesses, but there is still much to be done.

It is true that new residents look for recreational opportunities, and the City of Bainbridge has done a good job of concentrating on those, but there are other major community factors potential businesses and residents seek.

This involves cleaning up the litter on our streets and highways, sprucing up our homes, getting rid of slum and blight areas, fighting crime, and supporting our education and health systems, to name a few.

We all need to work to make this area a better place to live and work. Economic development and new resident attraction is everybody’s job.

Let’s extend the welcome mat.