Some East Texans Don't Want More Retirees Moving to Lufkin

First Angelina County goes wet, then the City of Lufkin becomes a certified retirement community. Many members of the business community are celebrating the two events, but some younger East Texans have mixed feelings about the state encouraging seniors to move to Lufkin to retire.

Cary Allen said, "Traffic would be kind of bad and that means that more people are gonna try to populate the surrounding counties in order to get away from the city life."

But not all young people feel that way. Travis Cain realizes the big economic impact seniors could have on the city.

"Businesses and surrounding areas rely on the elderly and the retirees for basic things," Cain said. "All the industries that have come in - the new restaurants and the new Sam's - are really going to benefit a retirement community."

But Cody Allen is afraid more seniors would put a damper on recreational activities that many younger residents now enjoy.

Allen said, "The surrounding counties I'm worried about because we really don't need the retirement people coming around in Trinity County or Houston County because that's really where all the woods and fishing is. If we were to do that, then we would have more wrecks and stuff and we really don't need that."

But Lufkin business leaders believe we do need more retirees. They've already started getting ready for our new neighbors.

Recently, Pinecrest Retirement Community unveiled plans to build 43 new homes for seniors. Construction on the Woods at Pinecrest will begin in January and should be finished sometime next summer.

City leaders understand the concern younger East Texans have about the certification, but said we won't see any changes to the way we live right away because new retirees will move to Lufkin over a period of time, not all at once.

Chamber executives said their plan is not to push out non-retirees, but encourage economic and population growth.

During months of research, the Lufkin Retirement Initiative Committee did not find any disadvantages to the city being a certified retirement community, only benefits for everyone.

More retirees in an area does mean the need for more services like healthcare programs, but city leaders said that's a good thing.