HAUGHTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — In anticipation of the 2020 U.S. Census results, the town of Haughton is expected to be upgraded to a city by the end of 2021.

“We got a letter from the Secretary of State a year and a half ago, telling us that our population was around 4,800 to 4,900,” said Haughton Mayor Kim Gaspard.

“So it’s kind of a given that the census will likely put us in the mid-5,000 and that would qualify us as a city.”

The new ranking brings the community a variety of benefits.

“A possibility of $16 million worth of grant type stuff, that if it all comes through, will be doing a lot of things in the town to help with infrastructure to make improvements wherever we can on existing facilities,” Gaspard said.

“So we’re trying to meet the potential growth that’s coming; yet, I’m very keen on trying to take care of our citizens.”

Meanwhile, the Haughton city-status will bring other complications and projects.

“We have to create voting districts for our town council members, so that takes a while to do. We’re going to have to get a demographer,” Gaspard said.

“We also have two capital outlay projects in the legislature right now. that we hope will get funded. One is to relocate one of our roads here at this new Legacy Point project and to upgrade Highway 157.”

After noticing the population increase, NBC 6 asked Haughton residents about why they enjoy their town.

“You would probably want to move here for just how swell the community is,” said 11-year-old Jonathan Vargas. “I like living here because it’s not a high populated area. You can actually be able to go outside and not to see cars running by. You can actually go outside and be able to breathe in fresh air from the trees and be able to see wildlife.”

“I enjoy the community and the small-town atmosphere,” said Taft Prince, who was born and raised in Haughton. “I think it’s a great place to raise a family.”

Mayor Kim Gaspard says that he’s expecting to receive the census results at the end of September.