By Michaela Marx Wheatley
The Norman Transcript
MOORE — Moore is coming back from a difficult year in a big way. It recently was named among the top 10 best small cities.
The real estate blog Movoto.com announced its “America’s best small cities to move to” list and Moore pulled in the No. 10 spot. The ranking was based on data collected about jobs, cost of living, crime, education and median income.
Blog writers made their picks based on demographic and other data collected from about 100 cities with populations under 60,000.
Deidre Ebrey, director of economic development for the city of Moore and Moore native, said Movoto had it right.
“I have lived in Moore when there were very little shopping, eating and recreational options, and I loved it. Now, there are tons more places to eat and shop, and I love it still,” she said. “The one thing that has remained constant is the people. We cared for and loved each other before we experienced tragedy. So in the aftermath of the terrible storms we’ve endured, our love and commitment to each other was made that much stronger.”
Movoto highlighted Moore’s low cost of living and low unemployment rate.
“The cost of living in Moore is 10 points below the national average, and the median household income — at $55,710 — is 5.6 percent above,” according to the Movoto report. “The median home price is 37 percent below average at 128,000, but there are 169 residents per home for sale.
“A real positive standout for Moore is its unemployment rate, which — at 4.3 percent — is an impressive 40 percent below the national average,” the report stated.
Ebrey said the positive economic statistics are no accident. The city and organizations, such as the Moore Chamber of Commerce and the Old Town Association, have worked hard to attract businesses that provide jobs and make the city a great place to live.
“I think what we do well is develop relationships with property owners, developers, commercial real estate brokers and businesses,” she said. “We do our best to understand the needs of the private sector, and we try to make our processes as business-friendly as possible. Businesses appreciate our willingness to work with them.”
However, Movoto said Moore has its challenges.
“While the 57,810 residents of Moore have to contend with tornadoes, the people who live in this Oklahoma City suburb also have to be a bit more concerned with crime. That’s because the city has the only above-average crime rate in our top 10 at 45 percent above the national average.”
While statistics suggest that this may be a problem, many Moore residents disagree.
“My favorite part of Moore is how safe I feel and the ease of which I can live my life,” Ebrey said. “My children attend school with families I’ve known for 40-plus years, and I am never worried about the care and education they receive. I basically have everything I need or want within a three-minute drive time from my home.”
Other cities rounding out the top 10 are Rowlett, Texas, at No. 1, followed by Idaho Fall, Idaho; Cedar Park, Texas; Noblesville, Ind.; Hendersonville, Tenn., Mansfield, Texas; North Port, Fla.; and Bartlett, Tenn.
Ebrey said Moore deserves the top 10 ranking.
“I can’t imagine what could ever entice me to leave. We are genuine and sincere, as a community and as a city government,” Ebrey said.
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