With a AA+ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, Mebane is one of the top 40 rated cities in North Carolina from a financial standpoint, which means — without a tax increase — it could easily borrow $8 million between 2019 and 2023. Cheek says that estimate is even conservative considering the rapid growth the city is experiencing. From 2013 to 2017, Mebane saw, on average, a 5.4 percent increase in the tax base per year, and with developments popping up left and right, it’s estimated the population will be at least 20,208 by 2027 (it was around 14,000 in 2016). “I think we’re prepared for this potential growth. … We’re not trying to necessarily promote it, but it’s just happening because of our location. All realtors say, ‘Location, location, location,’ and we’re right in the middle of everything, right on the edge of the Triangle, which is booming — North Carolina in general is booming,” Cheek said.