Some Hurley residents concerned about growth

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - There's still a lot of wide open space in Hurley. Cows graze peacefully beneath the bright fall sky.  But change is in the air.

New subdivisions have been built, and it's not hard to look around and see new homes going up all over north Jackson County.  And with that change comes opportunity.

Gary Robinson opened the Creations and More Coffee Shop to serve a growing populace eager for a morning shot of caffeine.  The decision to open in Hurley was an easy one.

"I started exploring options and fell in love with Hurley," Robinson said.  "New subdivisions, new businesses out here, there seems to be a lot of growth with water and sewer coming in, so growth and change is inevitable. So I thought I'd give it a shot."

As with everything in life, there are two sides to every equation. Growth in Hurley was inevitable following Hurricane Katrina as people moved away from the coast. But with that growth in Hurley comes concern.

Wendy Stogner owns the Deja Vu consignment shop.  She worries about losing a way of life.

"I've heard from a lot of people that they're scared that people are going to start selling off their land from family that they inherited, because land right now is going at a high price," Stogner said.

Some of that land was purchased to build a new strip mall. One tenant has moved in with more to come.

Right across the street, Charles Cumbest walks around his farm.  He believes he knows why people are moving here.

"A lot of people want to move out of town because we have a real good country churches and schools," Cumbest said.  "It's just an ideal situation for people to raise a family."

He's also realistic about the future.

"You always got problems, some problems with growth.  I hope it's not bad."

Because of the influx of new residents in Hurley, the sheriff's department opened a new substation in the community just last week.  It will be staffed seven days a week, during regular business hours. There are plans to staff the substation around the clock in the near future.

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