Early is going to be 'a busy little city'
Mayor Bob Mangrum gives State of the City address
EARLY — Early is still growing and on track to be a destination city, Mayor Bob Mangrum said at his State of the City address Friday.
Mangrum, speaking at an Early Visitors and Event Center luncheon, touted the city's accomplishments of the past year and pivoted to projects that are under way. The mayor noted the city's population is estimated at 3,526 this year, a 7.4 increase since the 2020 census. Between 2010 and 2020, the population grew nearly 18 percent, Mangrum said. "So we are still growing, and growing quite well," Mangrum said.
Mangrum played videos that featured city council members talking about the city and its growth. Mayor pro-tem Benny Allcorn, speaking on one of the videos, said Early is going to be "a busy little city."
Mangrum talked about progress on the city's largest and most ambitious project — a development known as the Town Center. The city has a slogan about the Town Center — "more than a dream, it's a plan," Mangrum said.
"The city is on track to becoming what is called a destination city, something to offer those who live here as well as those who travel through. We are working to keep our rural town feeling while offering urban amenities."
Mangrum gave timelines of some of the Town Center projects including:
• The Kelcy Way street, water and sewer project will be finished this month.
• Phase 1 infrastructure will be completed this summer.
• Construction of the 6-acre Town Center Pond, which will be up to 16 feet deep, will be completed in May.
• Construction of batting cages will be completed, and construction on the dog park, will begin in the fall.
• Regarding the mixed use development portion of the Town Hall, Mangrum said negotiations with developers are under way.
• Construction of the boardwalk will begin in the fall and completed next spring.
Mangrum listed other developments that are coming to early, including the opening of a Petco store this fall and the opening of HTeaO this summer. More than 400 subdivision lots are available for new housing, Mangrum said.