Counting Us | Urban Living

Counting Us

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I've been diagnosed with both obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. I don't medicate, but I get a lot done. I feel very comfortable when I recount and recount things. I was a math major for a time, but usually worked myself into a mental cul-de-sac when I'd rework problems over and over. Thus, I envy and can relate to people who count stuff for a living, like bean counters (CPAs) and census takers.

A new U.S. Census for 2016 was recently released, with population figures for the nation's cities and towns. Our government doesn't have the technology to count all of us in real time, or technology to get exact numbers, but it is what it is. We now know what the fastest growing cities are, and Utah County's Vineyard ranks No. 1. in the state, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune. Where is it? On the shores of Utah Lake in the Provo/Orem vicinity. It's only been around since 1989 after a massive cleanup of the old Geneva Steel mill. According to census workers, the town has grown from 611 people to 3,953 in just two years.

Vineyard is a planned community on 1,700 acres built by Anderson Development. It forsees an eventual 26,000 residents, an intermodal hub, 2 million square-feet of retail, 3.5 million square feet of offices and choice lakefront properties. You're likely thinking, "Ew! Lakefront at Utah Lake? It's so gray and polluted!" At one time, Provo piped its poop into the lake but that practice was stopped long ago. The color is a symptom of the gray clay that sits on the bottom of the lake.

The other fastest-growing cities in Utah are: Herriman (14.8 percent), Bluffdale (8.3 percent), Elk Ridge (7.9 percent), followed by Mantua and Monticello (tied at 7.5 percent), Eagle Mountain (7 percent), Blanding (6.9 percent), Francis (6.8 percent) and Saratoga Springs (6 percent). Growth is good, as it brings more people and more businesses, like restaurants and retail. It's bad because it brings traffic and increases crime. Last week, I visited the Adobe headquarters and got a real-time look at the horrible traffic mess surrounding Lehi, where so many commuters and newer residents try to navigate daily. Oy vey!

On the downside, Vernal's shrunk by 3.9 percent and was followed by Naples, Altamont, Tabiona, Duschene, Myton and Roosevelt. The losses are attributed to coal mine shutdowns.

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