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Population growing in Dothan

The City of Dothan is getting bigger, based on new projected census figures released this year. In comparison, other Alabama cities appear to be shrinking. WDHN's Valencia Jones takes a look at what's bringing people to Dothan.
City of Dothan Planning Director Todd McDonald discusses several factors he says play a role in Dothan's population increase.
City of Dothan Planning Director Todd McDonald discusses several factors he says play a role in Dothan's population increase.
The city is named after a scripture that reads, "Let us go to Dothan," and the city is hopeful more people and businesses will take that message to heart.
The city is named after a scripture that reads, "Let us go to Dothan," and the city is hopeful more people and businesses will take that message to heart.
"We're in a great location, and we're a market center for Southwest Georgia, Northern Florida, and Southeast Alabama,” said City of Dothan Planning Director Todd McDonald.

Population growth slowed down during the economic downturn.  But the new census shows its back on the upswing.  The 2010 census reflects a population of more than 65,496.  It's now projected at about 68,000.

"We have vendors and restaurants here.  [It’s] what people want to be around, and that tends to create its own momentum," McDonald said.

He also says people come here for the climate, the Medical Center, which has continued to expand, and low taxes, which he says attracts military workers.

"I know several folks that have landed in Dothan after retiring, or are here for military-related jobs, the climate, and low taxes," said McDonald.

Quality of life, including recreation, is another reason, he says, people have come to Dothan.

"Dothan has one of the best recreational facilities, of course, in the South, and in the world, and we continue to expand that,” said McDonald.  “And the folks in Leisure Services just do a phenomenal job in attracting grants to help us build that system."

City officials say efforts to improve the infrastructure and create more jobs have also contributed to the growth.

This includes the recent U.S.-Chinese Manufacturing Symposium, along with projects to improve the water and sewer systems.

The city is named after a scripture that reads, "Let us go to Dothan," and the city is hopeful more people and businesses will take that message to heart.

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