Eldridge building boom serves growing population

ELDRIDGE, Iowa -- Pounding hammers sound like success in Eldridge, Iowa, these days.

"We're watching the wood framing go up," said Tammy Neff, on Thursday, August 24.  "And now the roof, too."

At Neff's new home, it's a welcoming sight to be literally steps away from other relatives.

"What appeals to us is the quietness," she continued.  "You can still walk through the neighborhoods."

She's not alone, though.  Nearly 300 homes are filling this new subdivision.  It represents how the city of some 6,200 is growing.

Eldridge plans to be ready when Kraft-Heinz, Sterilte and Lewis Machine and Tool open nearby.

"We don't want to grow too fast and lose control of things in planning," said longtime Mayor Marty O'Boyle.  "And we don't want to be too slow where the economy starts stalling."

City leaders are finding a happy medium that includes downtown street renovations.  A $1.5 million upgrade should be ready by November 1.  Housing, commercial and industrial additions also boost its financial health.

"We have the same tax rate now as we did eight years ago," he continued.

They're designing growth to attract all income levels, from apartments to luxury homes.

Volunteers also put the finishing touches on a nearby playground.

"I do like the idea that there's great parks in the area," Neff said.

Heavy equipment is ready for more construction.  There are some seven developments underway.  New city codes will help to insure success and safety.

Tammy Neff and her family plan to move into their new home around December 1.

"We started watching this develop from the time they put the streets in, so we're very anxious to live in Eldridge," she concluded.

For a city on the move, it's the best endorsement for growth.