HUNTERSVILLE – Work hasn’t stopped on improving the town’s long-term economic viability, according to its leaders.

The town is partnering with New Hampshire-based RKG Associates Inc. to develop a strategic economic development plan aimed at promoting job creation, private investments and tax-base expansion for the next 10 to 15 years.

According to town records, Huntersville’s population grew by 1,452 percent – 3,014 to 46,773 – from 1990 to 2010, so efforts must be made to accommodate the growth with new jobs and a diverse tax base.

Planning Director Jack Simoneau said the town’s last significant economic development study was in 2002.

“As a result of that study, Huntersville rezoned approximately 1,000 acres for light manufacturing and worked with Cornelius, Davidson and the private sector in creating the Lake Norman Regional (Economic) Development Corporation,” he said.

Principal Planner Zac Gordon said Ryan McDaniels, the LNREDC's executive director, will provide direct assistance to RKG in the asset and real estate market analysis phases of the planning process.

"Preparation of the (strategic economic development plan) for the town will be a collaborative effort between the town and LNREDC," Gordon said, "with the end-product being a plan that will serve as both the vision and operational guide for economic development efforts in the town over the next 10-15 years."

RKG submitted its application to the town on Sept. 13, citing a 32-year history of work as well as experience in market analysis and strategy development as its strengths, according to a letter sent to the town by RKG Vice President and Principal Kyle Talente.

A final draft plan is scheduled to be finished by next April, with RKG’s presentation to the town board following in May.

RKG, which also has offices in Dallas, Texas and Alexandria, Va., has constructed economic development strategies in Durham and Craven County. The company also worked on large projects in Annapolis, Md., and Jacksonville, Fla.