Story Credit: Kristen Victorin, KWTX News 10, March 29 2017
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Officials confirmed in a recent State of the County address from Tuesday afternoon, the population in Killeen and Bell County as a whole will only continue to boom.
The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce hosted the meeting which invited members of surrounding communities to join.
Local business owners were excited about exceptional population growth being a topic on the docket, especially in Killeen.
Population numbers in 2000 were 86,911 and have grown to 140,806 as of 2015, according to Killeen city spokesperson Hilary Shine.
Between the years 2010-2015 there was a steady increase from 3,000-4,000 in population.
Meredith Viguers owns a catering business in Killeen, Let Us Do the Cooking, which is coming up on its 11th anniversary.
She said there has never been a more perfect time to own a business in Killeen.
"Now that the area is growing even more it's allowing me to say we can take on the extra staff, we can take on the extra kitchen space,” Viguers said. “There is going to be the need for what we do in this area more than what we've been doing in the past.”
Officials said a low cost of living and job growth could be contributing factors to the population growth.
Killeen city councilman Jim Kilpatrick said the 2% increase each year will only carry on.
“Stopping the growth in Killeen it's like putting a damn every 15 miles on the Mississippi River,” he said.
Small business owners like Viguers are reaping the benefits of that growth which she said results in a reliable word-of-mouth form of advertising.
"I actually haven’t advertised in about three years because our word-of-mouth marketing has really just carried us,” Viguers said.
Bell County’s population as a whole has grown 30.4% between 2000-2010. The years 1990-2000 the growth was 24.5%.