HOLCOMB, Kansas – The city of Holcomb that neighbors Garden City has long enjoyed its small town environment without much expansion.
Now, there’s a need for more housing and the city is working with Finney County to figure out the best way to develop.
“There’s an absolute known fact that Finney County is growing,” said Gary Newman, the Holcomb mayor.
While much of that commercial growth can be seen in Garden City, Holcomb remains a town that people move to, to settle down.
“The community has been designed around residential and that small town feel,” said Lona DuVall, the president of the Finney County Economic Development Corporation. “They have a great school district and a really nice community feel out there so a lot of folks that want to live there really want to live there because of the residential quality of life.”
With the need for more residential space, the city decided to partner with the Finney County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC) to create a development incentive program customized for Holcomb.
“We don’t have the infrastructure to support all this growth so we need to build that infrastructure, which is really expensive,” Newman said.
The city of Holcomb has both the space and the need for expansion.
The mayor says expanding at a controlled pace is key to its success.
“Controlling that growth though, kinda goes back to kinda just the feel that Holcomb is and wanting to make sure it’s a controlled growth,” Newman said. “We don’t want it to blow up. We don’t want it to shock the system.”
The council still has mixed opinions on what kind of program to use, but Newman says a developer has already approached the city and asked for some options.
“Holcomb just needs the opportunity to look at really what opportunities might be out there and really what they need to explore is what the developers need to be able to build the houses,” DuVall said.
Whether the development sees taxpayer money right away or it’s something more long-term, the city says these improvements extend across the entire county.
“That’s why Finney County has been able to grow versus other counties because everybody has the same mission,” Newman said.
Because so many people live in Holcomb, but don’t work right in the community, it’s hard for a housing study to determine just how much development they need.
For towns like Holcomb that don’t qualify for the Rural Housing Incentive District Program set aside by state statute, a custom incentive is the best way to go.