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Growing Moses Lake makes Forbes list

by Lynne Lynch
| December 21, 2010 8:00 PM

MOSES LAKE - Moses Lake was named as the eighth fastest-growing small town in the U.S. by Forbes Magazine.

The towns in order of ranking are: Fairbanks, Ala., The Villages, Fla., Bozeman, Mont., Palm Coast, Fla., Ames, Iowa, Stillwater, Okla., Columbia, Tenn., Moses Lake, Grand Island, Neb., and Sevierville, Tenn., according to a Dec. 7 story done by Forbes Magazine, titled "Fastest-Growing Small Towns."

Forbes Magazine examined census data between 2006 to 2009.

Moses Lake is listed as experiencing a 6.6 percent population growth from 2006 to 2009, with the number of people living in Moses Lake increasing from 82,612 to 88,098.

The figure apparently took into account all of Grant County's population, said Jon Smith, managing director of the Grant County Economic Development Council.

The census figures released between full censuses are estimates and include populations of 65,000 or more.

It's beneficial because some numbers are provided in between the full census, but not for all cities, he noted. City-level figures between censuses are only available for cities with populations of 65,000 or more.

But in a few months, results from the 2010 census should be available.

"You can't really attribute that article to Moses Lake entirely," Smith explained. "You can say the county grew."

County wide, Grant County experienced growth the labor force, unemployment and employment, he added.

"We can verify that at least we're growing," Smith commented.

Debbie Doran-Martinez, executive director of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, said the area was experiencing a great deal of growth with business and industry with several new manufacturers either expanding or building new operations.

She spoke of one new chamber member who has been in the area for one year. That member's business expanded and is preparing for another expansion.

She estimated that Quincy would be number two in growth behind Moses Lake.

"There was a little speculation with Washington Tire going into Ephrata, but now that project is dead in the water," Doran-Martinez commented.

Last year, the state released figures showing Moses Lake was the number-one micropolitan community with a 2.8 percent growth.

People are continuing to call and visit the chamber, asking why Moses Lake is attracting such big-name, international companies.

"We have gotten a lot of national and international press for the growth that's taking place here," she said.

Doran-Martinez said she wouldn't be surprised if SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers spurs other carbon fiber manufacturers to the area.

A representative from the Tennessee area showed interest in Moses Lake.

Smaller manufacturers have also come to the area, such as Morris Steel.

The Port of Moses Lake has no vacant buildings left to lease, she said.

"They're full and looking to build," Doran-Martinez said.

Growth is also shown with Genie Industries' plans, which is looking to bring more suppliers to the area, she added.

"It's a good problem to have," Doran-Martinez said

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