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Old 05-26-2009, 09:32 PM
 
161 posts, read 557,564 times
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Hello,

I am in search of a certain type of city, but don't know if it even exists anymore.

I am looking for a small city (10,000 to 100,000) with low crime.

I want a place that is not super progressive and more conservative. I also do not want a place that has seen a huge influx of wealthy people.

I am looking to be able to rely solely on walking or public transit, but prefer walking. I want to be able to live within a 2 mile radius of most things.

I need a dry climate, under 20 inches of precip a year. This pretty much narrows it down to the areas from the high plains and westward. Snowfall should average under 50 inches and not stick around forever.

Winter temps can be cold, but not bitter. Anything above zero is okay. I have lived in North Dakota, and that was too cold.

Cost-I would be renting an apartment, and need to find a place where you can consistently find a simple one bedroom apartment under $550.

Employment-I currently have a transferable job with a major retailer, but unfortunately they are limited in the west and especially in cities of the size I want. So this may mean quitting my job if I find the right place. That being said, I would want to pick up another job, likely in retail. So it would be nice to find a city that I could find some sort of part time work. Low wages are not a big deal, as this would only be a part time job and a secondary income to medical benefits I receive.

Non-factors:
Schools
Cultural Activities
Scenery

Here are a few places that have crossed my mind. The ones with *s are places I should be able to transfer to and not have to quit my job.

Lewiston, ID
Butte, MT
Sheridan, WY
Scottsbluff, NE*
Twin Falls, ID*
Yakima, WA*
Helena, MT*
Wenatchee, WA*
Farmington, NM*
Rock Springs, WY
San Angelo, TX*

A few places, like Cheyenne, Bozeman, and Great Falls were crossed off my list because of too much snow and cold. It appears much of the Southwest and West Coast has become too expensive and/or unsafe for me.

If you have any thoughts on these places, or have any suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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Since weather is a big concern, the Nebraska and Texas locations will likely be the warmest. They'll also allow you to keep your job.

That said, Texas is a major boom state at the moment, so you current affordable small town may not stay small for long.

I'd say go with Nebraska. Another perk to being in Nebraska is that the terrain is flat, which makes walking and biking places easier.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
887 posts, read 2,671,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailhiker View Post
San Angelo, TX*
This fits your climate concerns, your job, and has some public transit.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,405 posts, read 55,299,418 times
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Redding, CA
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Lawton, OK
139 posts, read 423,059 times
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I have lived in the Scottsbluff area on two occasions, if you dislike the cold and snow in Cheyenne (2 hrs. SW) then you probably won't like Scottsbluff. The weather in Scottsbluff is a bit more mild as it's 2000 feet lower in elevation, but trust me, in the winter it can get downright frigid for extended periods of time.

San Angelo sounds like a good bet on your list, I also suggest the smaller towns of Plainview, TX (pop. 23,000) and Garden City, KS (pop. 28,000)?
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:58 AM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,296,783 times
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If you can stomach the weather, lack of scenery and fairly slow pace of life, then I'd say go to Nebraska since there's little chance of it seeing a major boom any time soon.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,084 posts, read 102,830,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radraja View Post
Since weather is a big concern, the Nebraska and Texas locations will likely be the warmest. They'll also allow you to keep your job.

That said, Texas is a major boom state at the moment, so you current affordable small town may not stay small for long.

I'd say go with Nebraska. Another perk to being in Nebraska is that the terrain is flat, which makes walking and biking places easier.
These two words do not belong in the same sentence, unless you are talking about summer. Here are some weather stats for Scottsbluff:

Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Scottsbluff, Nebraska, United States of America

Actually, the weather looks very much like that of Denver, which is not surprising. Cheyenne is probably quite similar to Scottsbluff.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:07 AM
 
161 posts, read 557,564 times
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Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

It is interesting to see that a lot of you are thinking like I am. Scottsbluff is actually the city that is leading the way in my mind, with San Angelo second. San Angelo is on the larger side of of the cities on my list.

The whole weather thing is a bit tricky in the area around Wyoming and Nebraska it seems. Even though Scottsbluff and Cheyenne are only 2 hours apart, it seems like Scottsbluff is somewhat more tolerable. Scottsbluff averages 30 inches of snow less than Cheyenne a year(40in vs 70in). The wind in Cheyenne appears to be worse too, not to say that Scottsbluff won't be windy. Also, Cheyenne is not real walkable, because the airport is right in between where I'd work and the rest of the city.

When I lived in North Dakota, the average January high was 15F and the low -5F. The snow never melted all winter. We would sometimes spend a week or more below zero for highs. Scottsbluff has an average January high close to 40F, and snow seems to melt quickly when it does fall. They have their cold spells, but at least you get a break.

Like the above poster said, it is similar to Denver. Also, another appealing thing about Scottsbluff is that the city is only about 6 square miles large. The bus system is not great, with only a demand response system available to the general public, but at that size, I feel I could walk almost everywhere.

By the way, I did consider Redding, CA as someone suggested, but I don't think I could consistently find an apartment in my range, and I am basically on a fixed income.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:07 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,059,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
These two words do not belong in the same sentence, unless you are talking about summer. Here are some weather stats for Scottsbluff:

Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Scottsbluff, Nebraska, United States of America

Actually, the weather looks very much like that of Denver, which is not surprising. Cheyenne is probably quite similar to Scottsbluff.
I know that Nebraska isn't WARM in the winter, but it's likely to be milder than cities up in the mountains. That's what I meant.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,591,884 times
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It sounds like the Midwest (not the West) is for you. Based on your description, anywhere in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas would be what you are looking for. There are also places in the eastern Midwest that fit your description, but get much more rain.
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