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A South Dakota county’s pro-RV policy placed it on the top 10 list for the nation’s fastest growing communities, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Hanson County ranked fourth in Census estimates designed to gauge growth, but not because of an actual population increase. The county has earned a reputation for catering to RVers who just need a permanent address.
The practice also gained national attention during recent elections in the state, allowing transient RVers to vote as South Dakota residents.
Hanson County lies in flat farm country about 50 miles west of Sioux Falls. The new Census estimates showed the county grew 7.9% from 2003 to 2004. But most of those 278 additional residents officially call one place home: My Home Address Inc. located in Emery.
Ron Triebwasser and his wife, Judy, run the company that collects and forwards mail and medicine, registers vehicles and handles other chores for nearly 1,200 people who live on the road. The majority of the customers are retirees in recreational vehicles.
Nancy Nelson, program manager for the State Data Center in Vermillion, said Hanson County made the list due to a quirk in the way Census estimates are figured.
Census estimates “use the natural change of births and deaths, migration. But another item they factor in is addresses report from the IRS,” she said.
“With all those addresses added in Hanson County, I think that does have a big impact on that increase that we saw.”
Triebwasser said he’s using his relationship with his customers to promote Hanson County as a good place to buy property.
“I promote anything that would help the city and our school,” he said. “We’d love to have some people move in with kids.”