Most of the growth occurred during the last decade and came as a result of decisions city leaders made around the year 2000. Mayor Jeff Wilson told The St. Clair Times, “At one point, we could either grow or die.”
Wilson, who at that time was about 10 years into his tenure as mayor, said he and the town council made the decision to encourage residential growth and the associated services to make people comfortable living there — stores and restaurants, primarily — but they were not interested in encouraging industry.
A decade later, Wilson is happy that Margaret has grown into a full-fledged “bedroom community” for people who commute to other cities to work and he’s convinced that Margaret residents are happy to keep it that way.
Becoming a city will bring some changes, of course. The council will meet twice a month instead of once; sooner or later zoning restrictions will be imposed; and something’s going to have to be done to repair all those aging roads that came with rapid residential development, Wilson says.
Those changes will be focused on preserving what Margaret’s residents, both old and new, love about their city.
As Wilson put it, “Our vision has always been for us to be a good place to come home to.”
While growth without industry won’t work for every city, it appears to be working for now for Margaret.