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Old 11-06-2006, 12:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 12,130 times
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Hi everybody: Currently live in San Diego, but my wife and I are thinking about relocating to Colorado (my wife lived in the Colo Springs/Woodland Park area years ago). One of the spots we were looking at is Fort Morgan. Does anyone here have any personal info they could share about living in the Fort Morgan area (anything from crime to weather to people to anything you might be willing to share)?

Thanks for any info you might be able to give.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:45 AM
 
1 posts, read 12,126 times
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Default think twice

I recently moved to Fort Morgan and have for the most part found it lacking.
The school system is at best declining. Housing is overpriced for the area. Shopping is limited to a sliver of small down town shops and a poor selection of goods at a Wal Mart. The library is small...small...small and contains one of the meanest libraians I have ever encountered. The sugar factory does not produce a good smell. Most of the neighborhoods are poorly planned (Streets, alleys, ect.)

If I have to say one good thing about Fort Morgan, I would say the water isn't bad.

Last edited by dtl427; 02-06-2007 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:04 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
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OTOH, if you're seeking a parcel of land on the prairie in an area that is mostly farming and ranching, Ft Morgan still has some decent values.

Ft Morgan/Brush offers jobs in several industries, and has a modestly active regional retail business/services/trades climate, so jobs are available there in that sector, too. I've known people who owned feedlots there, and they were able to do most of their shopping locally.

For major shopping, Fort Collins or Denver are only an hour or so away.

It's a bit warmer than COS in the summer, and about the same temp in the winter.

We've flown down there for lunch a couple of times this winter, and the streets were always cleared when we drove into town from the northside airstrip.

It certainly does not have the scenic vistas of living along the Front Range, so is much farther away from all the outdoor recreation associated with the mountains. IMO, it's a little more harsh and stark country in the Ft Morgan area. The trade off is a lot slower pace of life and a small town atmosphere, especially compared to SanDiego.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:32 PM
 
Location: On a farm 6 miles sw of New Raymer and 21 miles north of Fort Morgan
3 posts, read 53,310 times
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Hi geosd!
I'm a 17 year old Fort Morgan native. I beg you, stay away from here. Hopefully by the time you're done hearing what I have to say, you will understand why Fort Morgan is not a place you'd want to live.

I could write a novel about what's wrong with Fort Morgan (and maybe someday I will, he he he... ). But I'm just going to give you the basic facts.

Let's talk about the attitude of the locals. Let's just say that if you're from out of town, it's not exactly easy to integrate with the community. Hell, my dad's family has been living in Morgan County for 98 years, and we're still not really part of it because we live in the far north end of the county. To say that the local politics are ridiculous doesn't even scratch the surface. Don't get me wrong, there are some very nice people in Fort Morgan. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.
Shopping is meager. Our downtown is small and neglected. The buisness district is a whopping four blocks long. Our Wal-Mart has very, very poor selection, we get the leftover crap from the stores on the Front Range. Thank god it's only an hour to Greeley and Denver for some REAL shopping.

Drug abuse around here is considerably above the national average. Morgan County as a whole has the highest methamphetamine use as well as highest teen pregnancy rate per capita of any county in Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, including Denver and Omaha. We're a major meth and pot distribution hub for the Midwest because of our location on I-76. One of our city councilmen got busted recently for having a meth lab in his basement, for crying out loud! While our crime rate is relatively low compared to big cities, for a town of this size it is very high, and most of it is directly tied to the drug problem. Thirty years ago, Fort Morganites used to leave their doors and cars unlocked; it was a safe town. Today, people lock everything up, because if it's not nailed down or padlocked, it'll get ripped off by a druggie or a Mexican. Take all this into consideration by looking at the fact the county only has a population of 28,000 people, about half of which are no habla englis,welfare and school system mooching, ***** stirring Mexicans, thanks to the fact Morgan County is home to a mass of light industrial, unskilled labor factories, including an ice plant, an Excel beef plant, a Leprino cheese plant, a Wal-Mart, and the last Great Western Sugar factory operating in the state of Colorado.
Now let me tell you about the school district here. I have been a student in this district since I was in 3rd grade, and let me tell you, IT'S A JOKE! It's been a waste of my childhood, to be honest with you, and the administration is very hypocritical, quoting some policies like it was struck in stone by the finger of God while completely overlooking or ignoring others. The internal bureaucratic bulls*** that occurs would curl your hair if you knew the full extent of it, trust me. My mom has worked for the Fort Morgan school district for 9 years, so she would know.
And I tell you, this town stinks. Literally. Year round, if you have a southeast or east wind, the smell of boiled beef blood inundates the town from the factory location in the southeast corner of town. If the wind is from the north or northwest from September to March, which is beet processing season, you get the gut clenching, nausea inducing smell of rotting beet pulp from the waste lime pits just north of town by the interstate.

Housing is VASTLY overrpriced in Fort Morgan and the county in general; the prices here have been artificially inflated by the ludicrous property values on the Front Range.

I DESPISE LIVING HERE!

About the only good things I have to say about this town is that the weather is interesting, especially in the summertime(if you like severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes, that is) and that the water's pretty good.

Thank god I only have a year and a half left until I graduate, and then I'm getting the hell out of here, only returning to visit my parents and for my class reunions. Otherwise, I'm never coming back. That's a promise I can and will keep.

Overall, like dtl427 said, the town is just lacking in everything. Lacking in character, lacking in friendliness, lacking in shopping, lacking a good education system, lacking good neighborhood planning, etc. etc.

You seem to be very nice folks, and I wouldn't want you to move here because you deserve better. Heck, I wouldn't wish living in this town on my worst nemesis!
So for your sake, I beg you to look elsewhere. A lot of people have fallen for the promise of "cozy, small town atmosphere with big city amenities an hour away". It's a false promise; don't fall into that trap, because we sure as heck don't hold up our end of the deal. Fort Morgan looks good on paper, but in person it is completely and utterly underwhelming.
Stay away from Fort Morgan; you'll be glad that you did!
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:10 PM
 
20,842 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highplainsdweller View Post
Hi geosd! I'm a 17 year old Fort Morgan native. I beg you, stay away from here.
Mark: Thanks for taking the time to give an honest assessment. I read your other post in the SD forum and my best advice is to study as hard as you can and get into college somewhere, even ROTC if you have to.... you WILL do well because you WANT to do well and get to a better station in life.

Fort Morgan sounds like an old-time industrial town, like my hometown of Baltimore, MD,.... a good place to be FROM.

s/Mike from back east
Moderator for CO
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:10 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
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Interesting that a 17 year old junior from such a very badly run school district appears to be literate enough to write the above commentary.

So, HighPlainsDweller ... were you home schooled? Or, did you in fact learn to read/write at the public schools you so eloquently decry?

Growing up on a farm 21 miles North of FtMorgan would certainly be a little constricting. Outside of the family farming activity, there's not a whole lot to do at or near home besides riding horses, raising livestock, hunting, fishing, bicycling, trap/skeet shooting, hiking, camping, enjoying the peace and quiet, low traffic density, pets, and so forth ....

You did participate in 4H or FFA, didn't you? How about school sports (which are a big deal in these towns ... most every student that wants to play, does .... unlike big school districts where there's room for only the best after tryouts)?

The family farm is hardly in a high crime district of Ft Morgan, isn't it? Your family didn't have to lock up all their valuable farming equipment, did they? Your cars weren't stolen or broken into, were they? And you really weren't in daily fear of someone coming by and robbing your place, were you?

I suspect your perspective may be slanted to your needs as you head off to college, which may be a different set of values/needs than an older family. Good luck on your college career HPD ....

Interesting, too, how many posts we get on the site from young folks just like you that can't wait to leave the place and head out for all the "excitement" of the world. And then regret later that the family has sold the farm and they can't move back to it when they've gotten the "excitement" out of their system. It's tough to put it all in perspective when you are only seeing one end of the yardstick ....

Mike/moderator ... knowing FtMorgan and Baltimore (through relatives there), I'd doubt that you could make any reasonable comparison between the two except that people live there .... Baltimore is an old factory town .... Ft Morgan is a ranching/farming based area with some newer plants that helped the local economy. And that smell sometimes from the feedlots and Excel plant is MONEY.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:42 PM
 
20,842 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Mike/moderator ... knowing FtMorgan and Baltimore (through relatives there), I'd doubt that you could make any reasonable comparison between the two except that people live there .... Baltimore is an old factory town .... Ft Morgan is a ranching/farming based area with some newer plants that helped the local economy. And that smell sometimes from the feedlots and Excel plant is MONEY.
Actually, many similarities are there, except the sheer scale of Baltimore surely dwarfs Fort Morgan.

Fort Morgan, according to Mark: "...Morgan County is home to a mass of light industrial, unskilled labor factories, including an ice plant, an Excel beef plant, a Leprino cheese plant, a Wal-Mart, and the last Great Western Sugar factory operating in the state of Colorado. And I tell you, this town stinks. Literally. Year round, if you have a southeast or east wind, the smell of boiled beef blood inundates the town from the factory location in the southeast corner of town. If the wind is from the north or northwest from September to March, which is beet processing season, you get the gut clenching, nausea inducing smell of rotting beet pulp from the waste lime pits just north of town by the interstate."

Baltimore, my having lived/worked there 26 years: Has a mass of unskilled and non-union jobs (less these days than in the heydays) that pay poor salaries. The big steel mill is union, with good salaries, not much else is. Once we had many slaughterhouses and packing plants that stank up the west side, they ran the hogs right down the street from the railyards (area is still called PigTown) but the packing houses are gone now. Still have dairy plants, and still have a major cane sugar refinery (Domino Sugar, where I worked for 3.75 years). Like smelly feedlots in Fort Morgan, Charm City has chemical plants that reek and poison the water. Down in the Curtis Bay area they used to bring in bird guano by the shipload to make fertilizer, and let me tell you, that stuff can open your nostrils as well as any feedlot on the prairie. Still all kinds of chemical processing there. So yes, the scale of the two is greatly different, but the dead-end jobs, the drinking and drugs, the despair and hopelessness are common to both. Education is a way out of either.

I too hope Mark elaborates on his schooling, as I sure could not write that well at his age - Hey Mark, chime in!

s/Mike
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:08 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,217 times
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I lived in the FT. Morgan-Brush area for 3 years. My thoughts on Ft. Morgan are mixed.

On the positive side, its a fairly clean small town, in terms of excessive garbage cluttering the streets. Most houses are fairly well kept up, and it has some decent resturaunts, albeit nothing fancy. There are many nice people in the area as well. On the negative side, there is a beet refinery, which stinks. There is also a beef plant, which also stinks. Both high schools in the area (FMHS and Brush HS) have decent facilities, but the student bodies are mush different than what you would expect in rural Colorado. Fort morgan does have a small but growing gang problem. Most of those involved usually spend their time in Greeley or Denver.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,217 times
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Do you attend FMHS? I used to live in Brush. I always heard FMHS was bad.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:45 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
Reputation: 14905
Mike/moderator .... I think I see the difference, and it's more than just the scale of the two communities discussed here.

In Baltimore, those "dead-end" factory jobs ... which were many businesses ... were low paying and polluting, as you describe them.

In Fort Morgan, the 4 ... that's it, count 'em, FOUR ... industrial plants plus the Brush power plant pay the HIGHEST WAGES in the area. In other words, they've brought a huge and very welcomed boost to the local economy with year 'round employment for many. As far as their size goes, they're each so small they wouldn't make a dent in the economy of a Baltimore sized city.

Please, also, recognize that the seasonal nature of some of the work, like the sugar beet plant coincides exactly with the seasonal nature of the local agricultural community ... jobs when they have a lot of time available to be off the farm. It's a mutually beneficial work situation.

Leprino Cheese ... the USA's largest manufacturer of cheese for the pizza industry ... is a wonderful modern plant utilizing the regional dairy production. Again, a boon to the local farmers and dairy farmers to have the local buyer for their production. Lou Leprino was pretty astute to locate the plant in the area ....

With the enviro regulations that the feedlots comply with these days (and the increasing interest in "organic" agriculture and "natural raised beef"), the feedlots are not polluters today (as one may have made a case for in years past). There's certainly no pollution and smell on the order of the guano and chemical plants.

For the most part, FtMorgan's neighborhoods are well kept with a pride of ownership that shows. Yards are kept up, houses are presentable, and there's a lot of new high dollar residential construction going on about the area.
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