TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Nathan Murray has lived in Twin Falls for only a week, but he says it already feels like home.

Murray is the new economic development director for the city of Twin Falls, and has spent his first week familiarizing himself with the area and reaching out to as many people as he can.

Everybody he’s met has been very welcoming, he says, and though he hails from bigger cities and crossed the Perrine Bridge only twice before this year – and that was to play baseball as a kid – the area seems familiar to him.

“My perception was always that Twin Falls is a small town,” he said in an interview on Friday. “Maybe it still is a small town, but it seems more sophisticated than other small towns and with a lot more stability.”

Murray grew up in Boise but went to school at BYU. While in Provo, Utah, he worked in planning and development before moving to the Mayor’s Office and was involved with several city projects. One of the more memorable experiences of his early career was challenging numbers of the 2000 Census by doing a housing study. His findings proved right.

He hopes to do stand-out work in his new community, and currently is studying for a Master’s degree in Community and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University.

His first impression of Twin Falls:

“There seems to be a lot more tradition here,” he said. “It seems to be a stable, solid community with a lot of family tradition.”

He’s impressed by the progressive community that has both a small-town feel and many amenities. Murray and his wife have five young children – two 8-year olds and 5-year-old triplets – and says he also is impressed that education is a priority for the community.

“There are not many communities this size building three new schools; but Twin Falls is,” he said.

City Manager Travis Rothweiler introduced Murray to the City Council on Monday, where he received a warm welcome from Mayor Shawn Barigar and council members. Murray says he wants to be involved, help Twin Falls grow economically, and get to know as many people as he can.

“I’ve been sending emails out to everyone I can think of,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten an email from me yet then go ahead and send me an email.”

You can reach him at nmurray@tfid.org.

Don’t expect to hear from him on weekends, though. When not working or trying to get settled into his new residence, Murray, who enjoys the outdoors including kayaking, plans to get on the river.

“I’m really excited about the Snake River,” he said.