Unofficial census data for Huntertown’s population has the town’s population at 9,141 in 2020, which is 4,331 more than 2010’s population. In 2019, the population estimate was 7,400 people. The largest growth has occurred over the last two years in 2020 and 2021.
With the town growing steadily, Town Manager Beth Shellman said Huntertown has already been working on adjusting to more residents.
“Huntertown added a couple new employees and departmentalized the Streets, Water, Wastewater and Utility Office,” she said. “Each department specializes in maintaining the needs of that department and routinely cross-trains with other departments. Our workforce is small but we are efficient.”
Shellman said there are nine outside and three inside full-time employees, the elected and appointed officials and herself.
Huntertown has been consistently reviewing plans and inspecting on four or five housing developments at any given time, Shellman said.
“As one development finishes up utility installation and begins building new residential housing, a new development is submitting preliminary plans,” she said. “Yes, there are future plans for single-family housing. We have had several inquiries on two-family and multi-family housing units. Yellow Apartments, also known as Huntertown Senior Apartments, is currently under construction on Old Lima Road.”
Huntertown’s recent tax increment financing (TIF) district creation and the organization of a Huntertown Redevelopment Commission (RDC), the town is prepared for the expansion of business to support the residential growth, according to Shellman.
“In the past couple years, the town has encouraged, and has seen come to fruition, new commercial growth and expansion of existing businesses,” she said.
Shellman said many of the new residents are from the Fort Wayne and Allen County area.
“A few residents have moved from one subdivision to another within the town limits to either upsize their home as families expand or to downsize as empty-nesters and retirement results in wanting a smaller home to maintain,” she said.
Huntertown Town Council member Mike Stamets said the council knew growth would be “inevitable.”
“We knew that growth would be inevitable because our schools were superior, our location and timing were ideal,” he said. “The ‘Home Town’ feeling was one that our community offered. Utilities, convenience, availability of land and location are all positives that Huntertown has to offer.”
Stamets said that most council members were aware that the debate with the City of Fort Wayne over the Waste Water Treatment Plant was a very important decision that Huntertown needed to take.
“We gained our independence and were free to build our own WWTP,” he said.
Brad Hite, President of the Huntertown Utility Service Board, agreed, saying “The construction of the Waste Water Treatment Plant was a good right place, right time decision. The hard work that was done to get us here was worth it.”
Pat Freck, Huntertown Town Council member, said the council is watching closely the growth within the community to ensure it benefits residents and business owners.
“We continue to annex new developments thereby providing municipal services beyond those available in rural areas,” she said. “This includes local police protection, water and sewer utilities, street maintenance, waste disposal, leaf and bulk trash pickup and voting privileges, to name a few.”
Freck said the Council’s goal is to continue ensuring the entire community is benefiting from the expansion of the corporate boundaries.
Shellman said in addition to having low tax rates and good schools, Huntertown provides a safe place to reside.
“Our town mottos is ‘A Great Place to Call Home!’” she said. “The Water and Wastewater plants are operating at less than 50 percent capacity and enables developers to expand water and wastewater infrastructure into rural areas when a property owner decides to sell. The demand for residential housing is great. We don’t anticipate any slow downs for several more years.”
Brandon Seifert, Huntertown Town Council member, said he feels the growth is good for the community.
Shellman said she feels fortunate to be a part of the controlled growth Huntertown is experiencing.
“Huntertown offers bulk trash collection and other community services, Hometown Hero banners, benches, trail and sidewalk upgrades and more,” she said. “It is important to keep that small-town ambience regardless of how large the town grows. The current Council and USB work in unison with myself, the Clerk-Treasurer and all town employees. No one person can take credit for the great things happening, it is a group effort and we are an amazing team.”