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Old 09-29-2011, 09:09 PM
3 posts, read 2,263 times
Reputation: 13
Wink Serious Wy relocation interest

Hello Wyoming residents,

My family and I have lived in rural Central PA all of our lives. I have vacationed in Wyoming many times in my life and I have to say that I have been in all of the lower 48 and nothing has ever come close (for me anyway) to Wyoming. We are seriously considering a move but have some questions that only residents themselves can answer with any depth. My husband and I are in our late 30's; he has worked in the coal strip mining industry since his early 20's with extensive experience in operating equipment and prep plant operation. He has a class A CDL with a clean MVR and numerous MSHA certifications. I have an education and background in the medical field as a medical assistant/medical administrative assistant and Human Resources. I am having a tough time finding any real information on the employment situation for someone with our backgrounds/ages. I know that the weather is a concern for relocaters. We live in a certain "special" spot in PA where winter is 8 months of the year with snow,sleet, and freezing rain as well as most of the months of January and February below 0 with the humidity driving the cold so deep into your bones it doesn't come out until June and the sun barely showing itself the whole time. What drives us to thoughts of relocation is the "quality" of life that you have. Here people walk down the street and don't even acknowledge their own relatives; everyone is always at a "break neck" pace, "flipping you the finger" and "cursing" at you for being in their way, compiled with just blatant ignorance and disregard for other people, period.
It is not like that where you are and I wouldn't blame you for not wanting people to relocate there with you. However, I would appreciate any information any of you could give us. We are already planning our vacation in July 2012 for Wyoming and some scouting around.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:38 PM
Location: Wyoming
6,506 posts, read 8,070,781 times
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Hi, and welcome to the Wyoming forum!

With the experience you both have, I doubt you'd have much trouble finding work in many Wyoming towns. As far as the work goes, Gillette would probably be your best bet for a good job if your husband could get on with one of the mines.

In case you didn't know, Gillette is in the center of Campbell County, which produces more coal than any other state in the nation. Our open pit mines typically have a hundred feet of overburden, then a hundred feet of coal. We have several very large open pit mines in the county; all pay well (mostly no unions), and most employ hundreds of miners. One of them would be your husband's best bet for good pay and benefits, but there are countless other employers who hire CDL drivers.

For a town of 30,000, we also have a fairly large and modern hospital (Campbell County Memorial Hospital) and large medical community, so I doubt you'd have much trouble finding work here.

But many towns in Wyoming hire lots of truck drivers and medical personnel, so I'd feel free to investigate all of Wyoming. We do like it here in Gillette. Residents are friendly, services are good, schools are excellent and you'd feel welcome.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:21 PM
3 posts, read 2,263 times
Reputation: 13
Hi WyoNewk,

I would like to thank you very much for your post. We have been doing a lot of research on the Gillette area for that very reason. At one time coal was "king" in PA. Now, not so much, although there is a lot going on with the "Marcellus shale" methane gas and believe it or not a lot of people from Wyoming and Texas are relocating to PA. Gillette, being a town of 30,000 is a good size place; I have always found the towns and cities in the West great. Being from the East when someone mentions "city" I think Pittsburgh/Philadelphia/NYC. Our town is around 4,000 people with 2 larger towns about an hour away east or west. We are social but, also believe in minding our own business. If someone needs help we're there with picks, shovels, hammers and nails. We like a fire in the backyard with friends, food and beer and a swim in the*crick*. Hillbillys and rednecks they call us around here. One thing I am curious about is the term "boomtown". I'm not familiar with with that. Also, there is no state income tax in Wy where PA charges a flat rate of 3.07% per person with 6% sales tax and a $55 per year occupational "privilege to work" tax. The price of gas is between 3.50 and 3.79 on any given day, and heating fuel and LP stove gas 3.50. I am curious about all kinds of situations we may encounter that are a big difference from where we are now. Please, keep the info and suggestions coming!

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Old 09-30-2011, 06:29 PM
7,884 posts, read 19,810,957 times
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"boomtown" is a the cycle of a town having a huge population growth and expansion due to a short-term of an activity, typically extractive industries. Be it coal, oil, gas, gold, silver, molydenum, uranium ore, or other precious metals/ores/products ... these have all played a role in the cycles of the west. Either the mines play out, or the price of the commodity collapses, and the town shrinks in size and activity to what it was previously. Sometimes, the mine will reopen or the commodity price will reach profitable levels again, or somebody finds another "strike" that is economically productive again, or the technology to mine the stuff improves and lowers costs ... this cycle has been repeated in several places throughout the West. In some cases, the town disappears ... which is why you can find old mining camps/towns that are now "ghost towns" in the West because the mines played out and the money source was gone.

Right now, LP gas delivered is less expensive here ... in the low $2.30 range in SE Wyoming. Probably less in some areas, perhaps a little more in a few places.

No state income tax here, but you will probably pay a bit more for your automotive license plates. Other taxes may seem relatively low compared to PA, but without knowing your mil levy, that's a guess. No occupational privelege tax here, and WY is a "right to work" state.

With the distance that many items must be shipped in to Wyoming, I think you'll find that some costs of living here are higher than PA with it's closer access to ports of entry, produce, etc. Land and housing may be more expensive here ... the closest I got to a search for that was in Ohio a year ago, and productive land there was substantially less expensive than here in Wyoming. Or it seemed so when I was looking at dryland that was producing 5 cuts of alfalfa per year compared to eeking out 2 cuts here with expensive irrigation and water rights on Wyoming land that is 4-6 times more per acre than what I could have bought a nice farm for in Ohio.

Winters will be longer and more severe here in Wyoming compared to the low elevations of Ohio. If you like cold winters, this is the place. Total moisture, of course, is much less here in Wyoming.

Finding a "crick" to swim in may be problematic for much of Wyoming. It's a pretty dry place overall, especially after the spring rainstorms abate across much of the state. There may also be issues with the mountain snow melt fed streams being a little on the cold side for comfortable swimming ...
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:53 AM
Location: near harrisburg pa
57 posts, read 66,993 times
Reputation: 44
pa.... im in the same boat as you but thinking of going to SD , but got a question for you , with all the activity at the marcellous why not stay around here and work ? i tried to find something but having a hard time , seems the money is good , but not as good enough as SD .... any input on that ?

ps , wyoming is great , i have a nice little chunk of land just north of cody ...
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:29 AM
3 posts, read 2,263 times
Reputation: 13
Hello Sunsprit!

Thanks for all of the info on taxes and energy costs. Also thanks for the explanation of "boomtown". We have that around here too, but i guess because the state is so densely populated and settled, people could just stay where they were and drive further to work. Some of your statements prompted me to do some research. Our mil levy is between 6-7%, property taxes are used to fund the school districts and based on assessed property value. There are people in my area paying $3000 per year property tax on houses with 1/2 acre of ground. We have a 3br, 2bath ranch on less than 1/2 acre and pay almost $2000 per yr. Another question is vehicle inspection. In PA we have to have a yearly inspection performed on our vehicles with what is called an emissions test. Cost depends on the class and size of your car/suv/truck, fo my suv it's $65, my husbands 3/4 ton it's a little over $100. Licensing is the same as well.
Thanks for all of your input, and keep it coming!

@ digger225

Personally digger I do not know of any people here who work for or have recieved a call to work from any of the gas well companies that have moved in (calfrac, etc.). They have moved into town and bought up buildings and held career fairs. I have heard that an issue is that a lot of people around here can't pass a drug test (which is believable) and a lot of people around here just won't work, period. And to comment on your question, why not stay? We both have good jobs for our area. It's the "quality" of life and environment we are interested in changing. PA is getting way too crowded and nasty for our liking and we are finally in a position in our lives where we can do something about it. Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.

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Old 10-01-2011, 10:49 AM
Location: near harrisburg pa
57 posts, read 66,993 times
Reputation: 44
thats really interesting in the highering , its the same way for me , cdl for 10 yrs , worked construction etc , currently self employed and the economy pretty much shut me down , i can pass a drug test and all just no luck , the only opertunity i have is become an owner operator and going to ND {which is a garanteed job}... id rather stay close to home but no chance it seems ... thats fine im just closer to wyoming then haha ....
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:21 PM
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,165 posts, read 20,715,102 times
Reputation: 10385
Utility costs have skyrocketed up here. MDU, Montana Dakota Utility is the fox in the henhouse.

Last year, they wanted to raise the cost of utilities, for residential services, by 32%. Yeah, 32%. Seems they wanted to buy into a new power plant and needed some ready cash. Course, they didn't think we'd see the article in the paper where they donated $3 million to some cause.

Anyhow, the Utilities commission shot down the 32% and rightly so. They did allow a slight increase of around 8-9%. Trouble is, MDU wasn't real happy with that and their shareholders couldn't become rich over night, so they stuck it to us anyhow. We have an RV park of 4 spaces. In order to keep a meter on a lot, it was $12.50 a month. Just to have a meter there. When people move in here, it's for long term, not nightly or weekly, so they have to have the power switched to their name. Last year, MDU didn't get what they wanted for increas so they took everything else up. Now, minimum base rate is $25 to just rent the meter. Electricity is in addition to that.

The cabin I live in is all electric. Prior to their 9% increase, my utility bill run around $55 a month. Now, my utility bill runs $85 a month. Does that sound like 9% to you, or does it sound like they made up the 32% any way they could?

So watch out for utility costs in this area. I will say that when you compare it to a national average, electricity is still cheap per KW hour. We are lucky in that extractive energy's help defray the cost and we actually end up better then most of the country. However, it still chaps my hide that they asked for a 32% increase. What are they thinking? What about retired folks on fixed pensions? SS hasn't had a COL increase for a long time. Gov says they don't need it because the cost of living is actually going down. Yeah, right. hahaha
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:37 PM
Location: Wyoming
3,269 posts, read 2,653,591 times
Reputation: 2788
It does seem like Gillette will be the best place for you to look. The attitude that it sounds like you have will endear you to the residents of the state. Quite a few people in this state like to have fires in their backyards and swim in the crick/creek (or river or lake). Check this web site out to look for jobs: Wyoming Region job search and jobs posting. Find a high quality employee. Find the perfect job.. Not sure how good it is but worth a look.
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