Merrimack named a “best place to live”
Friday, September 6, 2013
Newcomers, potential home buyers and current residents alike may be proud that Merrimack is ranked by Money Magazine as No. 23 of the top 50 small towns in America.
Merrimack was praised as being “an increasingly hot spot” for jobs. The presence of the Anheuser-Busch brewery was noted as a visitor destination. The premium outlet mall – Merrimack Premium Outlets – was credited with bringing shoppers into town and creating jobs. In addition, Merrimack’s parks and a strong recreation program were cited positively, along with the town’s proximity to the Merrimack River.
The assets “keep residents busy year-round,” the report stated.
Kristen Bellstrom, senior editor of Money Magazine, was in charge of this year’s Best Places story, which was published in August. She said the list of Best Places is alternated each year between small towns and large towns. Merrimack, therefore, would be considered for qualification every other year.
Merrimack came in at No. 23 this year, she said. Its current population is 25,686. Median home prices stand at $184,764. Annual median family income is $99,434 per year. The town was ranked No. 87 in 2011. It was No. 43 in 2009 and in 2007, it did not make the list of the nation’s top 50 places to live.
The top 10 list this year is comprised of Sharon, Mass., Louisville, Colo., Vienna, Va., Chanhassan, Minn., Sherwood, Ore., Berkley Heights, N.J., Mason, Ohio, Papillion, Neb., Apex, N.C., and West Goshen Township, Penn.
“Most years, we tweak our criteria slightly to reflect what’s happening in the economy and what families may be looking for in a great place to live,” Bellstrom said. “This year, with the recovery underway and real estate picking up, we emphasized places with access to lots of jobs and a strong housing market.”
The top spot of 50 Best Places to live was declared to be Sharon, Mass., a town of 17,944 with a median home price of $375,000 and a median family income of $139,850 per year.
Sharon won kudos for its proximity to jobs in Boston and Providence. A technology corridor along Route 128 was a plus for employment opportunities.
A diverse population and an abundance of churches and synagogues was noted.
Natural beauty was cited, as was the town’s open space, measured at roughly 40 percent, and a scenic lake, Lake Massapoag.
For the full list of 50 Best Places for 2013, visit http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/best-places/.
More information on Merrimack can be had online at www.merrimacknh.gov.