City leaders say more people are coming to Ozark and they say they now have proof.
Ozark Utilities leaders say they haven't expanded their coverage area, but are up some 235 customers. While many people in the city say that Ozark is getting smaller, utility statistics show the opposite.
Officials say customers are up by 235 since October 2005. Those customers are from people either building houses or moving into homes that have been on the market for a while.
It does not include any rental units. Officials say users, which included new customers and new rentals, are up 307.
"Some years we will gain 25 and then some years we may lose 25, so it’s been relatively unchanged for the last six or seven years," said Dan Hallford, director of Ozark’s utilities board.
Even though Ozark has seen an increase in water customers and users, utilities officials say you don't have to worry about running low on water, and it's because of the latest project from the utility department. Running water from a deep well that taps into the Tuscaloosa aquifer gives enough water supply for a city twice the size of Ozark.
Utility officials say the increase in customers does not come from anything the department has done. They have not expanded their coverage area to incorporate more residents.
“We have not expanded the water system and that’s what’s encouraging to me about this growth," said Hallford.
Officials say most of the increase has come since this spring. This customer increase is strictly residential.
Utilities for the commercial side are down two businesses within the past year. More may have left within the year, but overall the city hasn't made up for two.
With the increase, Ozark Utilities now serves around 6,500 customers.