JOHNSTON, Iowa -- The latest census data for the city of Johnston shows that the suburb continues to grow.
Since the last census in 2010, Johnston has grown by 18 percent. Now, over 20,000 Iowans call it home.
If you drive around the city, you’ll see new apartments and retail popping up, and in a year and a half, the new high school will open its doors.
Mayor Paula Dierenfeld says that while all the physical growth is important, the city also has to add people power.
“We also have to add staff in the community development area and in the public works area because they have expectations around infrastructure. Whether it’s streets, whether it’s parks, whether it’s trails, we need to make sure those needs are being addressed also,” she said.
One of the ways they're expanding is with public safety. Johnston’s Chief of Police says that they are looking to hire one new officer by October so they can maintain a ratio of 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents.
Residents say that while they have to dodge construction from time to time, they are also seeing a tangible byproduct of the growth.
"It'll be nice to jump on the freeway quicker, not have to go down 86th Street. And the expansion means that my property values are going up, so that's nice," said resident Shane Dooley.