New Prague continues to grow

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

New Prague continues to be a growing community.

State demographers recently certified New Prague's population in 2009 at 7,081. That's quite a change from the last official number of 4,559 in 2000.

With this year's census, we'll find out how close that estimate is to the actual number. Whatever the official population is, it's a sign of change in New Prague. The most obvious effect is there is more housing. Areas where there were open fields in 2000 now feature neighborhoods, especially in areas near New Prague High School and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

That area near the church and the west side of New Prague likely provides the most striking changes. Ten years ago both were open expanses, mostly farmland. On the west end of town, is now one of New Prague Area Schools newest buildings, Raven Stream Elementary. Housing is located around the school. Homes and businesses have replaced the large field that nearly surrounded Holy Trinity. Streets such as 10th Avenue SE, which now connects Main Street to Le Sueur County Road 29, and roundabouts have paved over some of that land.

A bigger population has also meant other changes. Present churches have done expansion projects for their growing congregations and new churches have started. Established sports programs have increased, while others like soccer and adapted softball have taken root.

The city has had to make changes in what they have to provide its increased number of residents. There have been additions to the park system and what they offer. These parks include new equipment, an archery range, a bike and skate park and an ice skating area.

The city is completing a new Wastewater Treatment Plant that will provide for the present and the future.

As to the future, New Prague Mayor W.A. Bink Bender is presenting a question to citizens in the city's August newsletter. What do you think our population will be in 2020 and 2030? People can send their answers to him via email at at binkbender@ci.newprague.mn.us

Even with the changes, New Prague is still a community where people can get to know their neighbors quite easily. It's a town where most families usually know who is on their child's sports team, where students know who is in their class. It's also a city where friends and families lend a helping hand in big and small endeavors.

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