Large projects, low cost of land bringing unprecedented growth to Fannin County

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FANNIN COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Counties all across Texoma are experiencing growth. One of those, Fannin County, has seen more growth in the past year than they can remember.

"We do have a lot of growth coming into Fannin County."

Precinct One Commissioner Gary Whitlock said he is having trouble keeping up with all the people moving into his area.

"I see houses going in places I never thought would have a house," he said. "Every little piece of property for sale is being bought and houses are going up whether it's rocky land or low land."

And it's not just his precinct.
The new developments are reflected across Fannin County.

"With the new lake coming, the restoration of the courthouse...those are things that will help the county," he said.

The selective demolition of the Bonham courthouse will cost $15 million with hopes of revitalizing the downtown area and bringing business and tourism downtown.

And the $1.6 billion dollar reservoir being built in the county will be the first in Texas in 30 years. It's supposed to bring a boost in taxable real estate values by an estimated $316 million, along with millions more through "fishing and boating, as well as new industrial and commercial opportunities," according to a study by the North Texas Municipal Water District.

The current population of roughly 35,000 people should see about a 16 percent increase to 41,000 by 2030 if the trend of growth continues according to state population data.

"I've seen people come in, look and see that there's land," said landowner Alyssa Bryan. "A lot of them out from Dallas and stuff so they're coming down to have land."

Bryan has seen the growth reflected with more buyers interested in her family's land that they're selling after owning it for two decades.

"They're looking for something to build on in the future," she said.

Both she and Whitlock point to money as a main motivation for the movement.

"I hear people are coming in saying the land values and prices are good. They can sell a place in Dallas and come here. Say they sell a place in California--they can buy two properties here for the same price," Whitlock said.

Whitlock hopes the new projects will boost the economy.

"Hopefully it'll give us a better tax base. We need more jobs and economic growth here."

"We welcome those people and appreciate the fact they wanna come to Fannin County," Whitlock added about the people moving in.

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