Warrick rising: local leaders handling growth, growing pains

Local

BOONVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- More people usually brings more construction, and over the past decade, Warrick County has added a lot of people.

Despite having roughly a third of the population as neighboring Vanderburgh County, Warrick County actually added almost ten times the number of people as Vanderburgh County between 2010 and 2020: 4,209 new people, to be exact, according to census data.

While new construction and new homes are popping up in Newburgh and around southern Warrick County, Boonville remains the county’s largest city with 6700 people, up nearly 500 people from a decade ago.

Mayor Charlie Wyatt (D) jokes that he’s “selfish” but says with more people in the city, Boonville now has more money for projects like improving the county square. Those projects, Wyatt says, are only bringing more people into the city and motivating some to move there.

Despite the growth, some school leaders in the county say they’ve been able to roll with the punches. Sharon Elementary School principal Ashlee Bruggenschmidt says her school, along with Newburgh Elementary and John H. Castle Elementary are the largest of their kind in Warrick County.

Despite ups and downs in enrollment, Bruggenschmidt says her school has the flexibility it needs to meet the demands of a larger school population.

But the growth hasn’t extended to all parts of Warrick County, yet. Sheriff Mike Wilder says funding has been an ongoing issue as his department tries to grow along with the county. He hopes a local tax increase passed by the Warrick County Council last month will help the department, along with county fire and EMS departments, expand their care to a county that is continuing to grow.

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