Population in county growing

Bargersville leads way; new homes, businesses constructed to keep up

The fastest growing community in Johnson County isn’t likely to lose its title anytime soon, as more construction of new homes and businesses continues shifting south.

With many more homes on the way, an interstate route coming within the next decade and a newly proposed business and shopping hub, Bargersville is poised to continue growing at a steady pace, planning director Julie Young said.

The population of Bargersville grew by 5 percent from 2015 to 2016, outpacing every other community in Johnson County, according to recent population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

During that same time period, Trafalgar grew by 3 percent. Greenwood, New Whiteland and Prince’s Lake each grew by 2 percent. Franklin, Edinburgh and Whiteland grew by 1 percent. The overall population growth in Johnson County was at 2 percent, according to the estimates.

A welcoming town atmosphere, a good school district and available land are the key factors leading to new homes being built and more residents moving in, Young said. The growing population also means more students are attending Center Grove schools, and that there is a larger need for police, fire and other emergency services.

A new Center Grove elementary school is planned off of Morgantown Road in Bargersville, south of County Road 144 near where hundreds of new homes are planned, that would have room for up to 800 students. The school, which will cost about $40 million, is expected to open in 2019.

Anytime new development plans are proposed, be it new neighborhoods or businesses, the town passes that information to the school district, fire department, utilities and other organizations so they can all make the necessary preparations, Young said.

The Bargersville Fire Department has had a more than 50 percent increase in calls since 2010 and is looking to add another ambulance and three additional firefighters.

Bargersville, which added nearly 400 residents last year, also was the fastest growing community in Johnson County last year as well, when it grew by 3 percent between 2014 and 2015.

That trend isn’t likely to change with home construction in Bargersville on the rise. About 270 building permits for new homes were issued from 2014 through 2016. Only 28 home construction permits were issued during 2010 in Bargersville. That number rose to 95 in 2016, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

M/I Homes has plans to build 300 homes along County Road 144, west of State Road 135, in what will be called the Saddle Club neighborhoods. Other new neighborhoods include Aberdeen with 220 lots and Morningside with nearly 400 lots, Young said.

The growing population has driven an increased interest from businesses, she said.

Developers plan to invest nearly $20 million to develop 160 acres of land at the southeast corner of the proposed County Road 144 and Interstate 69 interchange. The land was rezoned for commercial development earlier this year.

Another spot where more businesses may be coming to Bargersville is along State Road 135, Young said. Bargersville’s comprehensive plan identifies Whiteland and Stones Crossing roads as key areas along State Road 135 for future development.

Greenwood, which saw an increase of 1,000 residents, or 2 percent of its total population, in each of the past two years will likely continue to see steady growth, Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said.

The city has been averaging about 300 new homes per year, and that number is expected to stay steady, he said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.