Breaking News
More () »

'Growth is hard' | Rathdrum preparing for a wave of newcomers

The population in Rathdrum has nearly doubled in the last decade and isn't slowing down. Now the city is prepping for more houses, businesses, and traffic.

RATHDRUM, Idaho — The people of Rathdrum, Idaho love their small city, but change is spreading across the area.

“Growth is hard when you’re in a small town,” Mary Littrell of Rathdrum said.

Mary knows about the growing pains from experience. She moved to Rathdrum from Monroe, Wash., after She said that city had gotten too big.

“We were just trying to find some moral values we agreed with in a small town,” Littrell said.

Like many of her neighbors in Rathdrum’s new developments, people are moving to the area for the small-town feel but find themselves moving into a city that is quickly changing.

6,800 people lived in Rathdrum as of the 2010 census. Now, the city administrator said the population is more than 10,000.

“Growth has kind of happened because people want to move into this area,” Leon Duce, Rathdrum City Administrator said.

The city is focused on planning ahead, and working to stay on top of the growth, with the goal to create a self-sustaining city.

“You can work here, you can live here, and you can play here,” Duce said.

Back in 2018, Rathdrum added a new water well, an upgraded wastewater system, and started an urban renewal district to bring in new jobs. Now, Rathdrum is breaking ground on 160 acres of more industrial land.

“We've got businesses that want to expand but don't have anywhere to expand to so that'll provide those services for them,” Duce said.

Highway 41 is also expanding from two lanes to four. And all over Rathdrum, new housing developments are popping up.

“Trying to provide some housing for those people that want to move here and work here,” Duce said. “So those are all big projects the city of Rathdrum is working on.”

WATCH MORE: North Idaho residents push back against plans to build 4,500 homes along Huetter Road

Before You Leave, Check This Out