For the first time in the city’s history, the New Braunfels City Council approved a budget exceeding $200 million in September.
Sales tax revenue is projected by the city to hit an all-time high of $23.3 million during fiscal year 2019-20. And, for the second consecutive year, New Braunfels was named the second fastest-growing city in America by the U.S. Census Bureau with a growth rate of 7.2%.
“When you look at that growth from 2010-18, our population grew by nearly 25,000 people,” New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno said. “We are all feeling that impact and demand on the services the city provides, and we are not seeing that growth go away.”
Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate the population of New Braunfels exceeded 80,000 people in July. With an estimated population of 84,612, the population of New Braunfels has increased 131.85% in the past nine years from 36,494 in 2010.
That unprecedented level of growth coincides with growth across both Comal and Guadalupe counties.
In the past decade, census numbers indicate the population of Comal County has increased 90.17% to 148,373, and the population of Guadalupe County has increased 83.88% for a total county population of 163,694.
Other indicators of growth include increased demand on solid-waste services, an uptick in 911 calls and building inspections, Camareno said.
The city has also remained committed toward public works projects and road and street construction, adding more than 300 miles of city streets in the past five years.
“We are living in one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation, and that means a lot of projects for our city,” said Tim Zipp, Greater New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation chair.
Among the newest projects in the city of New Braunfels are 11 separate undertakings, from transportation and public safety improvements to parks and recreation upgrades, at a cost of $143 million—$117 million of which was approved by voters in a 2019 bond proposition.
Projects such as a $25 million, 150-acre sports complex; a new $36 million police headquarters and veterans memorial; and more than $40 million in upgrades to city streets, including Klein Road, Goodwin Road and Conrads Lane, Kerlick Lane, California Boulevard and San Antonio Street, are all underway, according to city officials.
“There is plenty of development and things we need,” said Heather Birdsell, a New Braunfels resident who moved to the area from California along with her husband and three kids in July 2018.
For Birdsell and her family, the decrease in cost of living, notably gas prices, affordable homes and quality schools were major factors in their decision to settle in New Braunfels.
“We looked around a little bit, but this is where we want to be,” Birdsell said. “We love that we are centrally located, if we want to go to San Antonio or Austin, and wish we would have done it years ago. We absolutely love it.”
Another factor in New Braunfels’ desirability for potential residents is the general safety of the city. New Braunfels in 2019 was named the 18th safest city with a population greater than 70,000 in Safewise Security’s annual Texas’s Safest Cities report.
The city of New Braunfels recorded rates of 2.51 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 17.16 property crimes per 1,000 people. By comparison, the safest city in Texas with a population greater than 70,000, Flower Mound, had rates of 0.59 violent crimes and 9.24 property crimes per 1,000 people, according to Safewise.
“We are filled with dedicated and passionate public servants who come to work every day and think about how they can better serve the community,” Camareno said. “It is an honor for me to be able to serve the community I love so much.”