County Connection: Shelby County balances mix of city and rural life

04/25/2018 04:10 PM

SHELBYVILLE – Shelby County has seen its population double in the last 28 years from 24,824 in 1990 to close to 48,000 in 2018.

In 2010, the county saw Collins High School built as Shelby County High School had become overcrowded.

While the county has seen tremendous growth, a visit to Shelby County today will show that it has been able to maintain its rural roots.

Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, a lifelong resident of the county, says that today’s mix of developed and rural areas is not by accident.

“I think zoning has made Shelby County, that’s what’s maintained the rural atmosphere in Shelby County,” Hornback said. “ You know, when zoning started here back in the 60’s in Shelby County, you would think it was a lot of farmers or preservationists that got together and decided to do that, but it wasn’t, it was developers, it was bankers from in town, it was those type of people who had a vision for the future of Shelby County that they wanted to be able to get into their car in downtown Shelbyville, drive five minutes and be out in the country.”

Shelby County has been a magnet in attracting businesses, primarily because of its location.

“When businesses look at re-locating here, they want to make sure that their employees are happy,” Hornback said. “You know, we are 30 minutes from Louisville, a big city, if you want that type of life. If you drive 5 minutes outside of town, you’re in a very rural area, it’s the best of both worlds.”

Hornback says that one of the challenges that the county faces is maintaining its growing infrastructure.

Notable citizens from Shelby County include former Kentucky Gov. Martha Layne Collins who was born in Bagdad, author Alice Hegan Rice and Major General J.Franklin Bell, a Medal of Honor recipient for his service in the Philippines.

Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, moved to Shelbyville in 1960 and lived their until his death in 1980.

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