Population bust in exurbs leaves towns struggling to pay for new infrastructure

The city of New Prague, with its brand new $30 million sewer plant, is not alone among exurban towns that were booming 10 years ago – and invested in pricey new public works projects. But that boom has gone bust, and now rural towns on the metro's edges are finding it tough to pay for the facilities, the Star Tribune reports.

The city of New Prague last month proudly showed off its new $30 million water and sewer plant, hosting an open house at the gleaming new facility.

New Prague hoped it would attract new development, the Star Tribune reports in a story on the plight of rural towns on the edges of the Twin Cities metro area. The exurbs were exploding. But then the housing bubble burst.

Now New Prague is among exurban towns that are are finding it tough to pay for new facilities, the Star Tribune reports.

The situation is not unique to Minnesota exurbs. The exurbs boomed in much of the 2000s, Atlantic reported. But nationwide, that growth slowed after the housing bubble burst, as residents fled exurbs and outer suburbs, the Washington Post reported.

The Brookings Institution offers more analysis that indicates exurbs and emerging suburbs registered very low growth rates in 2010-2011, continuing a downward trajectory established in the late 2000s.

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