On April 29, New Albany officially is a city.

On April 29, New Albany officially is a city.

Our 2010 census population of 7,724 residents was more than double the 2000 population of 3,711 and it far exceeded the minimum 5,000 residents necessary to obtain city status. An undeniable correlation to this newly acquired status is that more and more central Ohioans aspire to live in New Albany because they see great value in our core services, schools and overall quality of life.

While our population has more than doubled, we have worked collaboratively with our school district as one of the three communities it serves to lessen the impact of our growth. In the last decade, we have rezoned more than 500 acres of land from residential to commercial use, eliminating the potential for more than 1,400 future homes in the school district. This acreage has made it possible to recruit corporate partners like Motorists Mutual Insurance Co., Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., PharmaForce and the TJX Cos. in the past two years (and Abercrombie & Fitch in the early 2000s) on ground that was once residential. When complete, these businesses will be producing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for our schools through a combination of property-tax and income-tax revenues without adding a single new student.

There have been a number of recent media stories about our attracting more than 3,000 jobs to New Albany since 2009, more than 2,000 of which are also new to Ohio. When nearly 70 percent of the new jobs we are creating here are also new to Ohio, it is safe to say that New Albany is an economic engine for the entire state. In light of this and the high quality of life we have been able to maintain for residents, New Albany's designation as a village or a city is secondary. The more important consideration is the number of big announcements that continue to occur in our little community.

This recruitment of new businesses is important because our ability to grow our business base subsequently reduces the burden for city services on our residents.

Income-tax revenues account for 70 percent of such general-fund services as police protection, road maintenance, snow plowing, leaf collection and many infrastructure projects. Maximizing income-tax revenues becomes even more critical when one considers that the city of New Albany receives about 2 percent of residents' total property taxes to provide the services noted earlier.

Our planned growth has enabled us to limit the negative impacts of residential growth on our schools. This is evidenced by New Albany's 2,646 households on 7,622 acres, constituting a residential density of 0.35 units per acre. By contrast, Dublin (1.03), Powell (1.15), Worthington (1.56), Westerville (1.67), Upper Arlington (2.23) and Bexley (3.11) all have significantly higher residential densities.

Regardless of our municipal designation, your staff and elected leaders will continue to think big while staying true to our village roots. Responsiveness, approachability and a commitment to customer service remain key components to our future success.

Joseph Stefanov is city manager for New Albany.