Cecil, North Strabane, Peters stoke county’s population growth

Published May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am (Updated May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am)

Cecil, North Strabane and Peters townships share borders – and much more. They are the fastest-growing municipalities in burgeoning Washington County.

The U.S. Census Bureau released 2012 population estimates for cities, boroughs and townships nationwide, and, as anticipated, those aforementioned communities led the way locally in increases from their official population figures of 2010.

Lower taxes, Marcellus Shale-related job opportunities, quality of life and an increase in retail often are cited as attractions to the county.

Cecil experienced the greatest estimated growth in Washington County since 2010, at 2.8 percent. The Census Bureau pegged last year’s population at 11,589, up 318 residents from 11,271.

North Strabane was second, with a 2.5 percent increase in two years, gaining 330 residents for a total of 13,738. Peters’ population rose 1.9 percent to 21,606, with 393 more people than its 21,213 in 2012.

Chartiers Township, a geographic neighbor of all three, was the only other Washington County community of 1,000-plus residents that grew at least one percent in the Census calculations. Chartiers added 95 people to its 2010 total of 7,818, a 1.2 percent hike to 7,913.

Those four fueled a county-wide increase of 0.4 percent, from a population of 207,820 in 2010 to 208,716 – up 896. Only 19 of the county’s 66 municipalities, however, showed growth, many of them marginal.

The city of Washington, the county’s third-most populous municipality, had one of the largest declines. The county seat lost 108 from its 2010 figure of 13,663, falling 0.7 percent to 13,555.

North Strabane manager Frank Siffrinn was “not surprised” by the census figures pertaining to his community.

“The growth potential in the township over the last two censuses has been about 25 percent, and we expect that trend to continue,” he said.

Siffrinn pointed out that plans that have been approved or are pending approval will result in the construction of 800 housing units – some single-family, some multi-family – over “the next three to five years” in North Strabane.

Manager Mike Silvestri wasn’t taken aback by Peters’ population prosperity.

“Peters is always consistently growing,” he said. “It is a desirable place to move because of all the services and amenities we have.”

He said about one-third of the land in his expansive township is available for development, and that “quite a few” housing subdivisions have been approved and are awaiting construction.

“We anticipate the growth to continue, although we don’t believe it will be at the rates of the early 2000s,” Silvestri said. “But we hope for 100 or so new homes each year. Last year, 116 homes were constructed here. This helps us maintain a steady tax rate and allows us to continue to provide services people expect.”

Cecil supervisor Tom Casciola could not be reached for comment. Township Manager Don Gennuso was on vacation.

For more information, visit www.census.gov and search for American FactFinder.

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