HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — Helena’s population comes in at over 19,000 people. And the city projects that number to reach 25,000 by 2030. CBS 42 Reporter Malique Rankin sat down with a lifelong Helena resident who says the recent growth is plenty obvious.
Kimberly Ford, a Life-long resident of Helena, said, “But it’s grown a lot, we’ve got a lot more schools, churches, new parks. It’s really booming, real estate, here in old town”
Ford grew up in Helena. She says its the charm of the city that brought her back to raise a family and open a business: Skull Girl Soaps.
Ford said, “As the community has supported me, I’m able to come into a larger establishment and keep my business here instead of going somewhere else.”
Helena Mayor Mark Hall tells CBS 42 that while most the growth is positive growing pains are unavoidable.
Mark Hall, Helena Mayor explained, “We are way behind in roadways here and road improvements. We are working closely with the ALDOT and the Shelby County Highway Department.”
Hall says there’s plenty of good to balance the bad. Helena’s real estate market has boomed in the last decade.
Mayor Hall said, “As the economy came back a few years ago. So the housing market came back. We’re seeing a steady growth of 100-150 houses a year.”
In 2014, the city grew enough to build its own high school. Mayor Hall says it’s the perfect balance between small town and big city.
Mayor Hall explained, “We have everything you need right here, but that small-town feel. Everything is close in the Birmingham area.”
Ford, said, “You want to raise your family in a nice place, and Helena is where it is.”
According to the city’s website, Helena is considered one of the safest cities in the state.
The mayor tells CBS 42 they keep that a priority not only for the well-being of residents but also to attract people to the city. With their projected growth at about 32% in the next six years, it looks like those efforts are working.