Bell County, TX — Bell County has seen large growth in the past few years and now a new study shows that Killeen and the surrounding area is home to one of the strongest economies in the entire country.
Policom has been ranking local economies since 1997.
In 2006, The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metroplex ranked 169th in terms of economic success. Last year it reached 30th, and now the area has risen 22 spots in just one year to the eight position.
A big reason why Killeen ranks so high is because its seen a huge population increase in the past decade. Driving around town, you see alot more 'Sold' signs than 'For Sale' signs. Meaning, not only are people coming to the area, but they are staying long term.
Dan Corbin is Killeen’s mayor. He moved to the Fort Hood area after serving in Vietnam.
“I’ve been here since 1971, said Corbin. We didn’t have a mall. We didn’t have much. We didn’t have chain restaurants. It was not a favorite place for military people to be stationed.”
But now the base is a big reason for the recent growth.
“Most of the people who get out of the military here at Fort Hood stay in the area," said Corbin.
Dallas Garza is a helicopter pilot for the Army. Tired of renting, he, his wife and Brooklyn, the family dog, decided it was time to invest. This past week they moved into their new home. He's seen the growth first hand.
“Well, the growth is right here on Clear Creek Road. You have all these fast food shops coming up and there’s land being sold for more so I guess in the next year or two we’ll see more buildings going up," said Garza.
But Mayor Corbin stresses it’s not just the Killeen area succeeding, but the rest of the 190 Corridor too.
Corbin said, "It’s Killeen, Belton, Temple, Copperas Cove- the whole community. We are starting to work together regionally and I see nothing but continuation of the kind of success we’ve been having.”