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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:38 PM
 
19 posts, read 23,788 times
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Hi all,

my daughter and I were living in Wyomissing (outside of Reading) for a year and like it there but lost our home due to the crazy/difficult landlord we had. I didn't want to move into Reading and wouldn't suggest it to anyone but couldn't afford any of the surrounding areas (at least with what I could find in listings anyway) so we moved to SC at the suggestion of friends who live here in Greenville. Anyway my daughter who is 10 now and I absolutely hate it here and want to come back up north preferably to PA but it is such a large place to search in so I am open to suggestions. I am wanting to live in a safe, bug free place with some things available for kids like a park, Chuck E. Cheese or whatever. My budget allows me to only go up to $675. or so per month not including utilities and right now I have a lead for the Schoolhouse Apts./Orange Development in Duncannon so I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the apartments and/or the city and if it is worth considering? Also any other leads/suggestions would be appreciated, I work mainly from home right now but need a secondary income to fill in my hours. Right now I do office cleaning on the weekends as a side job and also still have my PA nursing assistant certification active. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Duncannon is a modest income community, much of which is in a flood zone. Susquenita SD is considered middling and the kids are bused out of town to its campus midway between here and Marysville. Substance abuse issues are far from unknown. There is a locally owned grocery store Mutzabaugh's Market :: Duncannon's Family Grocery Store and still 2 auto dealerships, but other shopping (and, yes, Chuck E. Cheese) is 1/2 hour+ in prevailing traffic into closer suburban Harrisburg. Adjacent Penn Township has a fairly large park Penn Township, Perry County, Pennsylvania :: Recreation off a dead end back street atop a bluff on the other side of the highway and an intimidating intersection interchange with US 11-15, would not be considered walkable from in town.

"Bug free" is not a very apt description to any of PA. In addition to skeeters, midges, gnats, and assorted other things that probably aren't much different from what you saw in Wyomissing, the larger rivers (Duncannon is at the junction of two of the largest rivers in PA, the Juniata and Susquehanna) sometimes hatch big clouds of mayflies and the like. They might not bite, but they land on you, and splatter on windshields. Fortunately, the numbers decline with each street block going away from the river.

One unique feature distinguishing Duncannon from scores of fading PA boroughs is the Appalachian Trail running right through town. In the mind of the "A.T. thru-hiker" Duncannon looms much larger than Harrisburg, or nearby Boiling Springs where the regional trail bureaucracy hangs out. From late May through early July about 1,000 footloose (and smelly, until they shower at the downtown Doyle Hotel) 20-somethings and 60-somethings from the world over pass through. The hikers and the community are getting together in a new initiative Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community | Promoting, Protecting and Preserving Our Outdoor Recreational Resources for Future Generations - possibly becoming involved in this could be a way to get into community life.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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Duncannon is in Perry County, which is the nearest to Harrisburg included in the Federally defined Appalachian Region. Counties in Appalachia - Appalachian Regional Commission

Although there are now 2 traffic signals in the county, there remains a regional perception of the area as populated by white people who hunt and fish. Here is a news article summarizing a touchstone incident a few months back: Perry County 'scumbag' remark inspires entrepreneurial spirit | PennLive.com
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:02 PM
 
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Thanks to you both for responding! Let me clarify that by bug free I do not mean the town I would be living in, I am referring to the specific apartment/home as in no roaches and other disgusting type pests. I'm looking for a decent, safe area for my daughter and I where we are not necessarily in the city or the middle of hectic life but also where we will not be bored out of our skulls. Somewhere that we can reach things to do easily, say within 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour. I am also considering areas like Williamsport, Waynesburg, Shippensburg, maybe Chambersburg and the immediate surrounding areas, but do not want to live in Harrisburg. In our hearts we would love to move back to Berks County (not Reading) but its just too expensive and jobs are hard to come by there.
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:05 PM
 
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How do you define "things to do"?
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:32 PM
 
19 posts, read 23,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
How do you define "things to do"?

By things to do I mean a neighborhood we can walk in, a park(s) with a playground near enough by, maybe an amusement center and an attraction or so (we lived a 1/2 hour from Ozzy's in Leesport and Crystal Cave in Kutztown and about 35 - 40 minutes from Kuzniar's Christmas Village when we were in Berks County). A place where there are fairs, holiday and or other events that go on at different points during the year, things like that. I don't mind being rural but do not want us to be isolated.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:31 AM
 
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Nearby Newport is a better choice for daily walkability than Duncannon. The Weis Market (full chain grocery), the schools, and park (currently being rehabbed) are still in town, and even the Oliver Township park is a modest side-street walk for a change of pace. The Perry County Community Fair - Home is on the north edge of Newport, a slightly more ambitious walk but still doable. But you'd be talking 15 minutes further drive than Duncannon is, from most other employment and shopping opportunities in suburban Harrisburg.

Mechanicsburg Borough and Carlisle Borough might be more satisfying.

Here is an event in Mechanicsburg: The Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce - Events : Jubilee Day

Carlisle does have some crime issues in parts, Chambersburg may as well. I would rate Carlisle as higher for walkability and things to do as above defined than Chambersburg, and the schools are rated a bit higher than average. Balancing rent budget vs. crime would need careful looking into.
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