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Old 11-28-2007, 04:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 20,346 times
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Can anyone tell me about Imperial, Nebraska?

We're considering a move to (hopefully somewhere in the drier, Western half of) Nebraska. Imperial has caught my eye and I'm looking for more information. I have done some research online and it seems like a pretty clean, nice, tight-knit small town. Does anyone have any personal experience with Imperial?

We currently live in beautiful Central Oregon, where we were both raised. We are tired of the out-of-control, overpriced housing market and of the population growth (it's one of the fastest growing areas in the nation). We are not looking for anything too impressive in a town; we want it to be safe, first and foremost, have good schools, and cheaper housing.

We currently live in a small town (population 2,000; a "bedroom community" to the bigger cities in Central Oregon) and enjoy the small town lifestyle. We're not worried about the weather (we are used to lots of snow in the winter, cold temperatures for months on end, and sizzling hot summers [though we don't have humidity here!]) or the lack of good paying jobs (we're not afraid to work hard to earn money). We have three children, all 4 years old and younger.

Any information anyone can give would be helpful. Thank you!
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,336,110 times
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I really like Imperial. (I'm up there about once per week. )
It's an important trade center for the area (Alco, two nice grocery stores, healthy main street, hardware store, etc.) Dining chains consist of Subway, Pizza Hut and a Taco John's in the local convenience store.
The schools are the best in the area. In fact, we're considering opting our kids into the Chase county district when they're in HS.
All of us (Imperial included) in the Republican river valley are currently in a water crisis so far as ag. irrigation goes. Imperial is in for some serious shake-ups, I think. But I also think they'll emerge okay.

Eye/dentist/hospital are all of good quality (for such a rural area). There's a multitude of churches, civic organizations and so on.

I wouldn't hesistate to move there, were I willing to live in town.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Montana
2,203 posts, read 8,375,653 times
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Jodi - keep in mind that rural Nebraska is indeed rural. Most of these towns of 2,000 to 5,000 pop. have been that same population for over 50 years. And you'll have a drive of at least an hour just to get to a little larger town (pop 15,000 - 25,000) that has a small mall. For major shopping centers, it means a drive to Denver.

Just so you're prepared for real rural, unlike a small "bedroom community" with a large town fairly close by. But having said that, my family moved to western Nebraska from Denver in order to raise our children in a small town environment. And we loved it! Rural Nebraska is a great place to raise kids - wonderful schools and low cost housing. Of course, with low-cost housing comes low-paying jobs . . . if you can find one. It's a little like reverse sticker shock.

Plan on coming for visit to see what the "good life" is like in farm country.
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:58 AM
 
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Imperial is a nice town. I live near it and enjoy this area of Nebraska. We call this area the "banana belt" because we usually don't get as severe of winter weather as the rest of the state. Chase County has a great county fair comparable with a big city fair. This is a great place to raise kids. North Platte, McCook, Kearney, Grand Island are not too far and offer good places to shop. We rarely go to Denver.
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:08 PM
 
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Default Thank you.

Thank you three for the information.

I'm wondering a few more things ...

Compared to the area I live in now, Imperial is much windier. Is it really that bad? Are tornadoes a problem? (According to city-data, it looks like they're not. Is this true? How often, during tornado season, are you concerned with them?)

Is the humidity in the summer hard to handle? (It's very dry here. Like, 18% humidity on the average summer day.)

Does Imperial have any horrible pest problems -- mice, cockroaches, etc.?

Are "outsiders" welcome in Imperial (or other small Nebraska towns)?

Are organic foods, produce, and products available in this part of Nebraska? Are there Farmer's Markets nearby in the summer? Would our healthy, organic-eating, active lifestyle be considered "strange" in the small community?

We plan to come visit the area in March or April, and if we like it, we'll move in June or July (2008). We're really looking forward to exploring the area and hoping we don't find any "deal breakers" about Imperial between now and then.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
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--Humidity will be very similar. "Muggy" is when the humidity climbs to 50 or 60%! (I grew up in eastern NE, so I always giggle at that). Usually it's pretty low, though. --Yes, it is windy. Most of western NE is windy, (but it's not like gale-force everyday). Such is life. You get used to it.
--Pest problems: no. Mice, if you live out of town, but other than that, not really. --Tornados completely depend upon the year. Some years you'll have warning once a week or more all through spring and early summer (like last year), but others you might have just one or two for the entire year.
Tornados aren't something to be scared of. They're usually predictable, you'll quickly learn what clouds look like when they're possible, and they tend to be extremely localized (ie, if one touches down ten miles away, it probably won't affect your immediate area at all)
--Outsiders; sure they're welcomed. But as has been discussed in other threads, you need to tread lightly for a while, maybe even several years, while people get to know you. (ie, don't bail into a new community expecting to save everyone from their redneck-ness, it will do nothing but irritate the locals.) Keep in mind, "newcomers" are those who have been in the area less than 25 years.
So don't hesitate to pitch in when asked, join groups and organizations, and always keep in mind that there are connections and relationships amongst people that will take a while to figure out. Not to mention, who's related to who. lol
Quote:
Would our healthy, organic-eating, active lifestyle be considered "strange" in the small community
Yes.
But at the same time, you will *not* be the only ones. Even in my little community of a couple hundred, you find the extremely health-conscious types here and there. They're considered "quirky" but it doesn't really bother anyone. Finding organic foods and products though is going to be tougher. If I'm not mistaken, the near Whole Foods type of store would be in North Platte (100 miles from Imperial). however, you'll get used to occasionally going farther for shopping anyway. While Imperial is defiantely an important town for its area, it's still only 1500 people or so.
But at the same time, the benefit of small-town grocery stores is that if you specifically ask for a product, they'll usually try to carry it!

And the "farmer's market" consists of a local producer or two parking their pickup in front of the courthouse in the summer with their wares in the back. lol

--Erin
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,228 posts, read 7,234,445 times
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"Are organic foods, produce, and products available in this part of Nebraska? Are there Farmer's Markets nearby in the summer? Would our healthy, organic-eating, active lifestyle be considered "strange" in the small community?"

Jodi,
You probably won't find much of what you call "organic" food in the local grocery stores in Imperial. However you will be able to have your own garden. It is a lot of work but if you can make it fun for the kids raising your own produce and canning is a great experience.

Imperial has several nice fishing holes within an hours drive. There are several lakes for boating, fishing, skiing etc. within an 80 mile radius, Lake MacCoughnahay (sic?) near Ogallala is the largest lake in Nebraska. If you are into hunting, the small game, deer and bird populations can supply table fare of the finest organic standards.

Tornados can happen but the chances of being hurt by one are miniscule. Talk to some of the locals to learn what kind of weather patterns to look for and the precautions you need to take. Root cellars used to be a common thing in the Imperial area. They can be used as an emergency shelter during thunderstorms and also as a good place to keep canned fruits and veggies from the garden you will have. Many of the older houses in the area already have them so when looking at property keep that in mind. It does get windy at times in March and April but just nail everything down and you will be OK.

What kind of job skills can you offer? Manufacturing jobs in the area are scarce. If you can telecommute the local Cable company probably offers high speed internet. I am not positive about this but I have a cousin that works for a hospital in the area and I am sure they have broadband connections available. Farming is the main occupation in the area. Humidity levels are higher in the summer because of all the irrigation in the area but they are still relatively low. The temperatures can be over a 100 in the summer at times but it is a tolerable heat and it always cools off enough at night to make sleeping with the windows open comfortable.

There is a scarcity of trees in Western Nebraska but if you look around you and take in the sights, smells and sounds you will learn to enjoy the plains. Sunrises and sunsets plus the terrific cloud formations are beautiful. Make stargazing part of your family time. The air is clear and if you get away from the city lights on a clear night the stars provide quite a display. At times the Northern Lights will provide some entertaining moments also.

I think you will enjoy the area but it will be a lot different than Central Orgeon so be prepared to adapt.

Good luck,
GL2
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:10 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,175 times
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Default I grew up there...

I grew up in Imperial, and as small communities go it's fairly nice. However, depending on where you live currently, it might be a LOT more isolated than what you're used to.

Imperial is 210 miles from Denver, 90 miles from North Platte, an 60 miles from Ogalalla. There is a Walmart in North Platte, a large hardware store, and some smaller stores in McCook.

There used to be an organic sandwich/grocery shop in imperial, but I'm not sure it still exists. The population of Chase County.

When I was growing up around there, their were lots of plusses an minuses. Small home town feeling, everyone knew everyone. My much younger sister literally married my first girlfriends ex-husband... It's a SMALL town.

On the other hand, everyone is friendly, and if you're stopped on the side of the road somebody is going to stop and lend you hand, they will wave at you as you drive by, and I ALWAYS left my key in the ignition, all the doors unlocked, and the neighbors we're happy to watch after each others kids, pets, whatever.

The economy is farming. All farming all the time. Trying to find jobs, especially as a woman or a non-farmer is VERY challenging. Subscribe to the imperial republican for a while to see how you like it. One of our favorite features is the Crete News, which is literally a discussion of who went to who's house for dinner on sunday.

If you want more information, or want to talk to someone who still lives there, contact me offline and I'll send you some names.

ken at demaria dot net will reach me.

-Ken
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,336,110 times
Reputation: 2406
Quote:
There used to be an organic sandwich/grocery shop in imperial, but I'm not sure it still exists.
I forgot about M&M Natural Jazz! Yeah, they're still there.
And the Republican is also online: Imperial Republican
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 10,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodib31415 View Post
Can anyone tell me about Imperial, Nebraska?

We're considering a move to (hopefully somewhere in the drier, Western half of) Nebraska. Imperial has caught my eye and I'm looking for more information. I have done some research online and it seems like a pretty clean, nice, tight-knit small town. Does anyone have any personal experience with Imperial?

We currently live in beautiful Central Oregon, where we were both raised. We are tired of the out-of-control, overpriced housing market and of the population growth (it's one of the fastest growing areas in the nation). We are not looking for anything too impressive in a town; we want it to be safe, first and foremost, have good schools, and cheaper housing.

We currently live in a small town (population 2,000; a "bedroom community" to the bigger cities in Central Oregon) and enjoy the small town lifestyle. We're not worried about the weather (we are used to lots of snow in the winter, cold temperatures for months on end, and sizzling hot summers [though we don't have humidity here!]) or the lack of good paying jobs (we're not afraid to work hard to earn money). We have three children, all 4 years old and younger.

Any information anyone can give would be helpful. Thank you!

I live in Imperial NEbraska and i luv it their building a new pool you would love it if u come here and we do open up new people!!! hoping to see you later
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