Vincent Long has started work as Imperial's city manager in a crucial time in the city's history.
Federal census results for 2000 released recently point to Imperial as proportionally the fastest-growing city in the Valley.
The city's population nearly doubled in the last 10 years and will soon be more than 10,000, if all the planned housing projects are built as planned. Imperial, while retaining its scrappy reputation at its established core, is more and more becoming a bedroom community on its edges.
While there are advantages to being a bedroom community — nice, safe neighborhoods, good schools, peace and quiet — there can be disadvantages. The major problem many bedroom communities face is lack of business. Imperial is facing that now and as its subdivisions continue to mushroom the problem will only get worse unless major sources of tax revenue, specifically retailers, are brought into the city.
Without that tax revenue, Imperial will be faced with a struggle to provide the essential services its residents need, such as police and fire protection and water and sewer services.