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Old 01-12-2011, 10:25 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,141 times
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There is a chance to relocate to Elizabeth City in NC. I might get a job at Elizabeth City State University. I will appreciate any comment/recommendation about the area. If I decide to relocate, I will be looking for a safe place to live. Very important, also, is the cost of living.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:45 PM
 
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With the exception of UNC Wilmington, ECSU is the closest university to the coast. It is an HBCU, but academically ranks as the best HBCU in NC and has been a US News Best Public Liberal Arts College (Southern U.S.) in recent years incl. 2011, if I remember correctly. It's new ventures in establishment of a Pharmacy School (in conjunction with Chapel Hill) as well as the UNC system's only aviation science program (in conjunction with the US Coast Guard contractor DRS Technologies) make this a small but robust school. BTW, the US Coast Guard Air Station here is the largest in the world.

Elizabeth City itself is the right-sized community - approx. 22k in population, and is equidistant (45 min) to a large (2+million) metro area - Hampton Roads, VA as well as the resort area of the Outer Banks. Elizabeth City is also far enough from Hampton Roads to have a bustling commercial sector of its own as well as a small shopping mall (Belk, Penney and ~28 smaller shops). While most locals seem to deride Southgate Mall, I find it perfect for my interests. We could use a Target since Wal*Mart (or should I say Walmart, now) is the only discount retailer here. However, due to EC's relatively low average household income, Target will never come here. But as I said if shopping is not adequate here, VA is only 45 min away as well as the OBX where there is a small outlet strip mall.

In relocating to EC, one must remember that even though EC is considered the metropolis of the 16-county comprising northeastern NC, it still is NENC, meaning that it historically been a largely agricultural region with little industry. In fact, driving through the 16-county Albemarle region, one will find little more than fields and swampland. In fact, a 1 and 1/2 hour drive is necessary to reach the next city of equal or larger size within NC. While EC used to have many industries from the late 1800s through the 1950s, little remains now and while EC is significantly better off than most of NENC with the exception of Currituck and Dare counties (comprising the OBX), it still would rank economically below most NC metro areas of comparable size.

Large sections of the city, especially north and northwest of downtown as well as south and southwest of downtown are downtrodden, but the Riverside area (southeast of downtown) as well as the neighborhoods along Church and Main Streets (both extending west of downtown) are higher-class and are Historic Districts as well. But as I mentioned, most newcomers do tend to opt for lower prices just outside the city, especially to the south where there are some relatively new (within last 5-15 years) neighborhoods about 2-3 miles from town. Queenswood (started c. 2003-4?) about 3 miles south on Body Road from Halstead Blvd. (NC 344) and Peartree Place (started c. 1996-98?) is about 2.5-3 miles south on Peartree Road from NC 344. There are also new developments (c. 2009, 2011) that have or are currently popping up along NC 344 in the vicinity of the US 17 Bypass interchange (around the Wal*Mart supercenter). You will undoubtedly pass by Wal*Mart if taking the bypass.

Because the city purchases electricity through NC Electricities, the costs are much higher due to the agency's blotched stake in the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant near Raleigh during the last energy crisis in the late 1980s. When construction overruns caused only one instead of four reactors to be built, well, the various member municipalities were stuck with the debt, at least until 2015. Electricity is much cheaper in outside the city limits in Pasquotank county, where it is served either by Dominion Virginia Power or Albemarle EMC. There are natural gas pipelines (via Piedmont Natural Gas) available in parts of the county, but most areas outside the city, especially away from US 17 may need to rely on local LP providers such as Albemarle Propane. Hi-speed internet and cable are available through Time Warner, who have an office off US 17. Water is provided either by the city, Pasquotank County Water System, or in bordering areas, South Mills Water Association in northern Pasquotank, or Intercounty Water if you are in the Woodville area near the Perquimans county border. Embarq (formerly Sprint) is the local telephone provider. AT&T, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular seem to all have excellent coverage in Pasquotank county.

The school system is OK (yeah, I'm a product of ECPPS) but sytems in neigboring Camden and Currituck counties rank higher academically. While these two counties are in closer proximity to both VA and the OBX, they have fewer amenities and activities, especially (in Dare's case) in the tourist off-season. Pasquotank county is better to live in, as it has more businesses around and as well as more recreational opportunities. Pasquotank is also safer from the threat of hurricanes, of which are a menace to the region, with about one or two direct hits to the area every year or so. While the OBX is often evacuated on approach of a hurricane, Pasquotank and the neighboring inland counties rarely, and in my lifetime, have never issued a full-scale evacuation.

While the city statistically sits only 12 feet above sea level, it is not unusual for parts of the city to get swamped in a storm. It is not coincidence that Water Street (paralleling the Pasquotank River downtown) sometimes gets to live up to its name. Drainage outside the city limits is often much better, especially south of town, as long as you do not relocate to the southern 1/4 of the county in the township of Weeksville, of which is entirely blotched in red on FEMA maps. The same goes for parts of northern Pasquotank adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp, which by the way is the largest cypress swamp left outside of Florida. The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest operational canal in the U.S., surveyed and its construction overseen by George Washington himself. While in its heyday used for commercial shipping, its relatively (by modern standards), narrow and shallow disposition, today make it a well-traveled route for pleasure boaters traversing between the Northeast and Florida. Over the decades, the city's location and friendly citizens have earned the city the now-trademarked nickname "The Harbor of Hospitality", where a welcoming committee occasionally greets boaters with food and drink.

All in all, Pasquotank County is a wonderful choice to live in. If you want to get to know the area better, I suggest using a weekend to take a closer look. There are a few excellent B&Bs in the Historic Districts of Main/Church and Riverside, as well as a charming on the edge of the Downtown CBD, where a number of good restaurants are easily within walking distance. You can find out more on these B&Bs as well as local motels on TripAdvisor, an excellent customer review site, of which I even have posted many myself under "ec_globetrotter". As TA will say, the best accommodations aside from the B&Bs is the Fairfield Marriott on NC 344, between US 17 Bypass and mainline US 17 on the way toward Business 17 which leads towards downtown.

I hope I've been helpful and feel free to double check some of the facts - I may have exaggerated on some of the quotes, but that's only because I love my hometown! Good luck in your relocation search!

Last edited by ectraveller; 01-22-2011 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:47 AM
 
4 posts, read 17,179 times
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Sorry - but I am reposting because CityData will not allow me to make additions after 90 mins. I have added more information below.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:48 AM
 
4 posts, read 17,179 times
Reputation: 23
With the exception of UNC Wilmington, ECSU is the closest university to the coast. It is an HBCU, but academically ranks as the best of such in NC and has been a US News Best Public Liberal Arts College (Southern U.S.) in recent years incl. 2011, if I remember correctly. The school’s new ventures in the establishment of a Pharmacy School (in conjunction with UNC Chapel Hill) as well in having the UNC system's only aviation science program (in conjunction with the US Coast Guard contractor DRS Technologies) make this a small but robust school.

Due to its proximity to Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks, Pasquotank county has always been a stronghold for aviation. The US Coast Guard Air Station complex is the largest in the country (and the world). Around the same time during WWII, the now long-decommissioned NAS Weeksville was established and was home to the world’s largest wooden structure until 1995 when a welder accidentally turned it into a freak fireball. However, its slightly smaller steel sister still exists, and is currently used by the private company TCOM for blimp servicing and construction. It is one of the few facilities in the world that is still equipped to perform such tasks. In addition to DRS, there are also other aviation-related contractors currently servicing the USCG base.

Elizabeth City itself is the right-sized community - approx. 22k in population, and is equidistant (45 min) to a large (2+million) metro area - Hampton Roads, VA as well as the resort area of the Outer Banks. Elizabeth City is also far enough from Hampton Roads to have a bustling commercial sector of its own as well as a small shopping mall (Belk, JCPenney and ~28 smaller shops). While most locals seem to deride Southgate Mall, I find it perfect for my interests. (And I am still in college though not in EC. It goes to show there is at least one 20-something who actually appreciates that we even have a mall. Many cities of comparable size do not.) While we could use a Target since Wal*Mart is the only discount retailer present, due to EC's relatively low average household income, it will never come here. But as I said, if shopping to you seems a bit sparse, VA is only 45 min away with five malls in South Hampton Roads alone. While the OBX lacks a mall of anybody’s definition, it does have a small Tangier Outlet shopping center in Nags Head.

In relocating to EC, one must remember that even though EC is considered the metropolis of the 16-county comprising northeastern NC, it still is NENC, meaning that it has historically been a largely agricultural region with little industry. In fact, driving through the 16-county Albemarle region, one will find little more than fields and swampland. A 1 and 1/2 hour drive is necessary to reach the next city of equal or larger size within NC. While EC used to have many industries from the late 1800s through the 1950s, little remains now. Despite EC being significantly better off than most of NENC with the exception of Currituck and Dare counties (comprising the OBX), it still would rank economically below most NC metro areas of comparable size. The economy of EC and Pasquotank county are largely buoyed by the USCG base, ECSU, the school system and the local hospital. The crime rate does not seem to be any higher than other cities of comparable size, and elevated rates are usually confined to the shoddy parts of town. Many times, the criminals are actually from nearby VA.

Large sections of the city, especially north and northwest of downtown as well as south and southwest of downtown are downtrodden, but the Riverside area (southeast of downtown) as well as the neighborhoods along Church and Main Streets (both extending west of downtown) are higher-class and are Historic Districts as well. But as I mentioned, most newcomers do tend to opt for lower prices just outside the city, especially to the south where there are some relatively new (within last 5-15 years) neighborhoods about 2-3 miles from town. Queenswood (started c. 2003-4?) about 3 miles south on Body Road from Halstead Blvd. (NC 344) and Peartree Place (started c. 1996-98?) is about 2.5-3 miles south on Peartree Road from NC 344. There are also new developments (c. 2009, 2011) that have or are currently popping up along NC 344 in the vicinity of the US 17 Bypass interchange (around the Wal*Mart supercenter).

Because the city purchases electricity through NC Electricities, the costs are much higher due to the agency's blotched stake in the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant near Raleigh during the last energy crisis in the late 1980s. When construction overruns caused only one out of four reactors to be built, well, the various member municipalities were stuck with the debt, at least until 2015. Electricity is much cheaper outside the city limits in Pasquotank county, where it is served either by Dominion Virginia Power or Albemarle EMC. There are natural gas pipelines (via Piedmont Natural Gas) available in parts of the county, but most areas outside the city, especially away from US 17 may need to rely on local LP providers such as Albemarle Propane. High-speed internet and cable are available through Time Warner, who have an office off US 17. Embarq (formerly Sprint) is the local telephone provider and cell providers AT&T, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular all seem to have excellent coverage in the area. Water is provided either by the city, Pasquotank County Water System, or in bordering areas, South Mills Water Association in northern Pasquotank, or Intercounty Water if you are in the Woodville area near the Perquimans border.

The school system is OK (yeah, I'm a product of ECPPS), but systems in neighboring Camden and Currituck counties rank higher academically. While these two counties are in closer proximity to both VA and the OBX, they have fewer amenities and activities, especially (in Dare's case) in the tourist off-season. Pasquotank county includes city and county parks, including one built over a former landfill humorously named “Fun Junkion”. The city also operates a senior center and golf course. Private diversions include at least two golf courses, a bowling alley, private gyms and fitness centers, 2-screen cinema and until summer 2010, a dinner cinema downtown. The local arts council is dynamic, housing an art gallery and a theatre, of which productions can also be found in the Fine Arts Complex of ECSU as well as at the College of the Albemarle, the first CC established in NC. There is also a small Christian college near downtown that is affiliated with the Church of Christ denomination.

For its size, Elizabeth City is home to a vast assortment of restaurants. Anything you can think of, it’s likely to be here, be it Steakhouse to Seafood, Chinese to Japanese to Mexican, even Jamaican! Some of the finer establishments are located downtown, including the city’s only semi-nightclub, a few bars as well as some excellent restaurants. There is an adequate selection of grocery stores in EC - three Food Lions, Wal*Mart, Farm Fresh (a VA subsidiary of MN-based SuperValu), an organic store, the public Farmer’s Market as well as a few area farm stands (in season). If you’re from Charlotte, the Triad or the Triangle, sorry - no Harris Teeters, Bloom or Lowes Foods here, although there are two HTs on the OBX.

Healthcare is provided by Albemarle Hospital, a non-profit regional medical center owned by Pasquotank county and affiliated with University Health Systems of Greenville. UHS is itself affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine of East Carolina University. The nearest trauma level facility is 45 min north at Sentara Norfolk General. EC is fortunate to have not only a large number of local GPs and specialists, but those from the Hampton Roads metro as well.

Pasquotank is also safer from the threat of hurricanes, of which are a menace to the region, with about one or two direct hits to the area every year or so. While the OBX is often evacuated on approach of a hurricane, Pasquotank and the neighboring inland counties rarely (and in my lifetime at least) have never issued a full-scale evacuation.

While the city statistically sits only 12 feet above sea level, it is not unusual for parts of the city to get swamped in a storm. It is no coincidence that Water Street (paralleling the Pasquotank River downtown) sometimes gets to live up to its name. The city’s original boundaries (basically today’s downtown CBD) bordered the Pasquotank River to the east, with two creeks to the north and south. Though once dredged into canals for shipping, the creeks still remain in culverted form on the south boundary and beneath the soon-to-be overhauled wooden pilings of US 158 on the north. While proximity to water was essential for commerce back in the day, the city’s location on a web of wetlands and creeks make for a number of low-lying spots. Drainage outside the city limits is often much better, not only on slightly higher elevation, but also having had the benefit of being drained and farmed for decades. There are a number of good homesites especially south of town, as long as you do not relocate to the southern 1/4 of the county in the township of Weeksville, of which is entirely blotched in bloody red on FEMA maps. The same goes for parts of northern Pasquotank adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp, which by the way is the largest cypress swamp left outside of Florida. The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest still-operational canal in the U.S., with its survey and construction overseen by George Washington himself. While in its heyday used for commercial shipping, its relatively narrow and shallow disposition (by modern standards), today make it a well-traveled route for pleasure boaters traversing between the Northeast and Florida. Over the decades, the city's location and friendly citizens have earned the city the now-trademarked nickname "The Harbor of Hospitality", where a welcoming committee occasionally greets boaters with food and drink.

All in all, Pasquotank County is a wonderful choice to live in. If you want to get to know the area better, I suggest using a weekend to take a closer look. There are a few excellent B&Bs in the Historic Districts of Main/Church and Riverside, as well as a charming one on the edge of the Downtown CBD, where a number of good restaurants are easily within walking distance. You can find out more on these B&Bs as well as local motels on TripAdvisor, an excellent customer review site, of which I even have posted many myself under "ec_globetrotter". As TA will say, the best accommodations aside from the B&Bs is the Fairfield Inn Marriott on NC 344, between US 17 Bypass and mainline US 17 on the way toward Business 17 which leads towards downtown.

I hope I've been helpful and feel free to double check some of the facts - I may have exaggerated on some of the information, but that's only because I love my hometown! Good luck in your relocation search!

Last edited by ectraveller; 01-23-2011 at 02:02 AM..
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:58 AM
 
Location: OBX NC
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I am originally from VA, have lived in Currituck County and worked in e-city for 8+ years. My impressions: E-city is a nice smaller town with proximity to the big shopping areas and metro areas of VA. Although the schools in Ne NC pale in comparison to some other systems, the kids who pay attention and put effort into their studies (ie, those kids who 'get it at home') do fine.... My son is a sophomore in Currituck, just scored an extremely high score on his first SAT attempt -- so although I have looked at the schools suspiciously, the kids MUST be getting something if they want to. That having been said, the schools seem to love the high-achievers, and only tolerate the rest.

The Coast Guard influence helps the town immensely, but the down side is that there are precious few great jobs there aside from the USCG base. But the CG does provide for highly-trained positions and helps the development of skilled workers in the region. Right now, there are plans for an 'Air Park' to be built near the CG base. If it works, it will undoubtedly bring a new level of affluence to the populace.

Downside: I believe E-City to still be on the prejudiced side - although I am not sure if it is more a white thing or a black thing - I've seen overt racism on both sides. Further, E-City seems to be confused as to which direction it wants to grow. On the one hand, it has a beautiful waterfront, but on the other hand, some of the behaviors of the council would indicate a reticence to grow. Same difficulty every smaller town faces as it grows ---

Climate is mild with some wetness and wintery weather and high humidity in sumer. Lots of water front or water access properties, but don't be fooled into thinking the properties are cheap 'because it's rural North Carolina'. Those wily farmers are a whole lot craftier than they let on sometimes.... they don't survive down there without some grey matter!

E-City has an Arts Council that has made great strides in bringing art and music to the city, with regular blues, vocal, and other artists to town as well as regional and national artists. (My wife's an artist, so she's involved in that).

All in all, if you like the small town atmosphere, E-City is a nice place--- expensive utilities, few great restaurants, etc, but lots of water and a laid back approach to some extent. For my money, my wife is an artist and we like a little more progressive area - we're thinking of relocating to Wilmington next year.

Hope this helps.

s
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Westerville, Oh
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Default Thinking of retiring to E City

Tell me about alligators in the area.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
7,137 posts, read 7,162,467 times
Reputation: 2927
Default Alligators!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadietoo View Post
Tell me about alligators in the area.
You might see them, as their range is moving further north with warmer weather. Check this article: Large alligator spotted near N.C.-Va. state line | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:16 PM
 
Location: A good place
834 posts, read 705,476 times
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I live in E. City. Never seen a gator. You might find one, maybe, if you go deep into the swampy areas. Sometimes they are seen, but not too often. I say I live in E. City. I mean the City limits, not in town. Lots of housing on the outskirts of the city.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:02 PM
 
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I would think twice about moving there if I were you. I found the people to be surprisingly very snotty/rude there. I get the impression they don't like folks who move there from out of state, however they have no problem letting in illegals by the busload to work the farms. The police/legal system is also very charming. Expect to get pulled over and slapped with a $200 ticket every time you go 5 miles over the speed limit. I guess that's one way to raise local revenue. I would recommend going north of the border and move to the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area, and forget about this little joke of a town.
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