Bragg addressed members of Main Street: Murfreesboro/Rutherford County at its 2010 annual meeting and spoke about how Murfreesboro has weathered the Great Recession.
“Murfreesboro and Rutherford County are uniquely situated to make it through this. … We will survive,” he said.
Bragg cited continued commercial and retail growth, as well as more desirable office space and affordable living, as reasons for Murfreesboro’s unique situation.
When he took office in 2002, farmland lined Manson Pike. Now it’s called Medical Center Parkway and is home to Embassy Suites, The Avenue and Class-A office space.
In that time the population of the city and county have also grown by leaps and bounds to support the kind of growth seen on Medical Center Parkway, he said.
And the city is still growing.
Bragg expects the 2010 U.S. Census to find more than 110,000 people living in Murfreesboro. The latest special census in 2008 found slightly more than 100,000 people living in town.
“Many people say growth doesn’t pay for itself,” he said. Then citing statistics from the Rutherford County Comprehensive Plan, he explained residential growth may not pay for itself but commercial and retail growth supports the services given to homes in the city and county.
The city’s commercial growth is, in part, to thank for growth in city services, which can be seen in the city’s budget. In 2002 Murfreesboro’s budget was more than $63 million. This year it will be nearly $93 million.
He said the county and cities should continue to work together the better the community. Like when Murfreesboro, Smyrna, La Vergne and Eagleville worked together to bring a Motlow campus to the county.
“Every decision we make in government is for tomorrow,” he said.
Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.