The population surge that put Teton County on the top 10 list of the nation’s fastest growing counties appears to have slowed.
Estimates released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau show the growth rate in the rural, high-mountain county falling from a mid-90s high of nearly 10 percent in a single year to roughly three percent from 1996 to 1997.
The latest count shows the previous year’s slight drop in growth rates may be part of a trend. However, Teton Valley remains at the center of a boom that put it at the top of all Idaho counties for this decade. The population has grown by more than half, from 3,460 in 1990 to 5,310 in 1997, the bureau estimated, making it the 16th fastest-growing county in the nation.
The brief slowdown comes as welcome news to some reeling from the growing traffic, proposed subdivisions and golf courses.
“I’m really glad things leveled out, but it sure isn’t time for optimism,” said Deb Patla, a board member of Citizens for Teton Valley. The local organization has fought several high profile development projects in recent years.