Shelby looks forward, draws new residents
The forward-thinking town of Shelby has seen a growth in population over the years.
Mayor Ron Kroll said it was the only city in the county that grew, according to the last census. The population has grown to 726.
With its close location to I-80 and current business base, including the Menards distribution center, Shelby is attracting new residents. There are several people on waiting lists to occupy rental properties.
“I’ve been on the council 12 years,” said City Council member Pat Honeywell. “Since I’ve been on we’ve talked about and completed demolition of at least three houses, and put up four houses, and they all sold before they were completed.”
The city now owns the remainder of a new addition just south of town and is working on infrastructure for that area.
“Improvement and community pride is in our DNA and has been for as long as I can remember,” Honeywell said. “The one thing that helps this town take pride in itself and grow is, before the trails were everywhere else, they built the trail along the old railroad tracks and found a way for it. Before parks became a big thing, they built the park.”
The City of Shelby is always looking forward.
City Council member Karen Schlueter said the city is trying really hard to continue with its planning and five-year and 10-year projections.
“Within that we are making sure we allow for growth and that we can sustain that growth,” she said.
Those goals are often met.
“We have accomplished them all — working with the wells, sewer, demolition of old housing and working on downtown streets,” Honeywell said. “We’ve accomplished them. Shelby dreams, and dreams big, and I think that’s wonderful.”
Kroll said Shelby has always been an aggressive community, being one of the first to get the Jaws of Life and a defibrillator for its fire and rescue squad.
Honeywell said Shelby is pretty independent other than natural gas.
“We are aggressively working on infrastructure,” Kroll said. “Shelby has tits own electricity which is rare for a small community. We also have put up a new water tower and sunk three new wells.”
Kroll said they want to be inviting.
“One of the goals is to lighten the corridor going out to the interstate so it’s more inviting for people to come into town,” Kroll said.
Honeywell said caring for others is one of their characteristics.
“I would tell you my overall feeling is no one here goes hungry,” she said. “If someone needs help, and others are aware of it, someone will step up and volunteer.”