Things are Looking Up in Cactus

Steve Schmidt-Witcher, Cactus City Manager
Steve Schmidt-Witcher, Cactus City Manager

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Cactus, Texas - It's an area town that has faced many hurdles but now, things are looking up.

About 2500 people live in Cactus right now, but the population may jump to 4,000 in the near future thanks to the rebuilding and expanding of the area.

One of the biggest changes is the over $200,000,000 expansion of the JBS Swift meat packing plant- an expansion bringing more people and jobs to the area.

Its also bringing more infrastructure, since JBS is adding hundreds of apartments for employees. City Manager, Steve Schmidt-Witcher says, "The master plan was to get Cactus as a permanent community again. It's been a situation where because it's endured so much over the last couple of years, it was just a coming in and literally rebuilding and starting from scratch. And that's kind of the goal to make us self sufficient."

And with more jobs and more people, comes more businesses. The city manager says in the past all amenities have been in Dumas, but now that's not the case. Schmidt-Witcher says, "A couple of years ago there was a blank space between the south edge of town and the north edge of town. Out here in the field along the side of the highway, we've had several businesses, car dealerships, retail stores and such that have built along the west edge. It's almost now filled in."

The one and only traffic light, as well as several parks and other amenities are popping up too. Grants and donations have helped pay for a lot of the changes, but Cactus needs more people to get many of the grants.

While this expansion is taking place, the town is still struggling to rebuild from a devastating tornado.