City’s population grows in 2006 by 9.19%
The city has 345 more reasons to celebrate as the new census figures now make Tonganoxie the 68th most populous city in Kansas.
Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2006 population estimates that showed Tonganoxie's population increased 9.19 percent to 4,101, the biggest increase the city has experienced since the 2000 census.
Tonganoxie had the third-highest percentage in growth in Kansas, just below Westmoreland's 12.86 percent increase to 737, and Maize's 11.09 percent increase to 2,684.
"It surprised me quite a bit, especially with all you read about with the housing market being down," said Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal.
Vestal said he believed affordable housing and commercial developments in Wyandotte County and easy access to Kansas City have helped the city's steady population increase.
"I think we'll always be a bedroom community, at least for a few more years," he said. "We're just kind of a metropolitan frontier right now, but we are growing year by year."
Among Tonganoxie's neighbors, Basehor and Linwood saw positive growth while Lawrence, Leavenworth and McLouth decreased slightly.
Since 2000, Tonganoxie's population has spiked in growth every few years with the last jump in 2004 that increased the population 7.77 percent. When the population is not spiking it tends to hover around 5 percent.
Mike Yanez, city administrator, thinks this trend will continue.
"I think we are going to stay at around 5 percent," Yanez said. "People in the Kansas City market are looking for affordable housing and looking for a quieter atmosphere, looking for a better school system. Then people are coming to Tongie and realizing we have a pretty good package."
Although the city's population enjoyed a big increase, the county's recent valuation assessment showed a smaller increase in the commercial and residential developments.
Kathy Bard, Tonganoxie city clerk, said part of the reason for the lack of development is due to energy cost increases and because people don't have the extra money for purchasing new homes. Instead, they move into the many homes already available in the city, she said.