ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Population and job growth were some of the hot topics discussed at Commission Chairman Collin Daly’s Limestone County State of the County address.

From 2020 to 2021, Limestone County was the fastest-growing county in Alabama based on population. Census data shows the county’s population was 107,517 last year.

Large companies like Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Polaris, and Amazon have brought many jobs to the area. Limestone County now has more than 401,000 jobs from approximately 1,000 employers.

Unemployment, like many places, is low leaving employers ready to hire. Chairman Daly told News 19 the willingness of people from surrounding counties to drive into Limestone County to work is vital to the area’s success.

He added that while large employers bring many jobs to the area, the heartbeat behind the county’s workforce is reliant on the area’s small businesses.

“Not only do we have the big employers, but you have the small employers coming in,” Daly explained.

Daly also shared that with the number of companies moving into Limestone County employers must find the workforce to fill open positions.

“With Limestone County growing like we are it is hard,” Daly continued. “We’ve got a workforce to develop, that’s the biggest thing. We need to get the workforce; with growth, you’ll always have that growing pain.”

Looking ahead, the county’s budget is increasing from nearly $44 million to $50 million. The extra $6 million will go primarily toward adding new departments such as city planners and a recycling department, both to accommodate the county’s growth. This comes after the Athens Limestone County Recycling closed in April.