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Old 09-20-2007, 07:28 PM
 
9 posts, read 65,188 times
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Hey everyone, been reading the threads and coming from ND can understand your frustrations. My husband may be relocating to Missoula and we have 3 kids, wanted to know what small town would be good to raise kids?

I love MT, the people and culture, and have no desire to change it. That is what makes MT great!! In ND we have the same problems, low wages, farmers and business people only seem to be making the money. I don't understand why they would treat us like dirt when you go down south or to CA they will hire you instantly because they know our work ethic is great plus they pay better wages!! There has been instances when business owners tell companies who want to come in that they can't pay high wages because they cannot compete. These are the people who own 500,000+ houses on the river. It is sickening.

Anyway, I know it is expensive to live in MT but am excited for a new adventure.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:33 PM
 
Location: California
510 posts, read 3,069,724 times
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There's a few... but the closest decent sized town that comes to mind for me is Hamilton. It's about 30-40 mins south (if I remember, it's been 5 years). One of my best friends still lives there, and they plan to stay with their 2 year old. You could consider looking north to Polson and Bigfork as well.

Why don't you want to live in Missoula? You'll run into the same drinking and drug problems in Missoula as you would in any town in MT that is over 20,000 people. It's not rampant by any means... just curious if you want smaller just for the feel of it.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:19 PM
 
9 posts, read 65,188 times
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I like the small town feeling. Grew up in a town of 2400 and moved to Fargo, ND (which is about 90,000) My husband and I moved to Bismarck because it is just crazy in Fargo. We live outside Bismarck in a development. Drinking and drugs are big here too, I don't think you can get away from that and we lead the nation on teen binge drinking. I read somewhere that there is a valley (I want to say south of Missoula) that has pollution problems. Not really into the pollution thing. Never had to live with that and wouldn't like to start.

Also my parents lived in Missoula in the 60's and 70's and worked in the mill. But because of the sulfur in the air, the doctor had told my mom to move or she would die so they moved back to ND. My dad told me that he wished they would of moved to another part of MT. He misses it. He also told me that the small towns around Missoula are nice. Granted it has been a long time since he has lived there and the area has changed a great deal, he wasn't sure which surrounding towns would be family orientated.

So I was hoping someone who lives or lived there could give me some info.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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The Missoula valley suffers from pollution during severe valley inversions. Pellet stoves (I think) are banned in Missoula for this reason. I'd imagine the Bitterroot (south of Missoula) suffers from the same problems, as does any valley in Montana.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:40 AM
 
Location: California
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The only semi small town I can think of that is closest to Missoula will be Polson, on the south side of the lake. I'm unsure if Missoula's bad air heads south to Hamilton on a regular basis or not. Polson's air is fine if my memory serves...
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:42 PM
 
8 posts, read 62,324 times
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Default Moving to Msla

Polson is too far away from Msla - you're talking at least 2 hours travel time. The towns surrounding Msla would be:
Frenchtown (west), Bonner/Clinton (east), Arlee and Ronan (north) and Lolo (south). All are within 10-20 minutes of Msla, except Arlee & Ronan, which are more like 30-40. I would wager to say most drive in to Msla for work. Lolo, Florence, Stevensville, Victor, Corvallis, and Hamilton are all towns that are S. of Msla. Stevensville and Hamilton are decent-sized, really nice communities, but Hamilton would have more work opportunities, but Stevensville is an easy commute to either Msla or Hamilton (20-40 minutes).

I think deciding on which town to pick would really have to depend on where you will work and then go from there. Msla is a really great town, it's come a long way since when we moved here 17 years ago. Lots to do and enjoy.

Any of the towns mentioned all offer gorgeous views and country living, and just a quality of life that's hard to find in bigger, faster-paced cities. The downside to Msla and surrounding areas would be that it's more expensive to live, in terms of housing, groceries, gas, college, etc. in relationship to income. The air quality in Msla does get bad during the winter time - thanks to Smurfit-Stone and just the way Msla is demographically situated (it's a valley surrounded by mountains so the smog stays longer than normal). The Bitterroot doesn't get the smog, although they are applying stricter rules to pellet stoves and woodburning stoves to help with the air quality - we get a lot of inversions. And the past few years the fire season has made it really hard to enjoy it here if you're an outdoor recreationalist that is. The forests get shut down usually about July 15th til the end of September. March and April bring snow showers, not rain, and May, while you have warmer days, the nights still get down to freezing so camping out in a tent can be challenging, and the lakes and rivers aren't warm enough to jump into until mid August.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:42 PM
 
8 posts, read 62,324 times
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I see I didn't really answer your ? on which town to raise kids - outside of Msla, I'd pick Stevensville or Hamilton. Simply because they're bigger and more things to do, which isn't much, outside of what Msla has to offer, but if you stay close to the one's around Msla, then Msla will be your gateway for kid activities. Movies, children's theater, indoor and outdoor swimming parks, bike trails, playgrounds, youth activites, indoor and outdoor skateparks, etc, are all in Msla. I think Msla is a great town and family friendly.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,439 posts, read 8,538,474 times
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I live in Stevensville and work in Missoula. The commute is a breeze, 35 minutes tops. The town of Stevensville (Stevi) is peaceful, very scenic, and the schools are great. My two teenagers love it here now, and are involved in all sorts of community activities. There is a small town "community" country town feeling here, but we are close enough to Missoula to easily take advantage of the shopping, restaurants, concerts, and college football etc. that it offers. Elton John is appearing in Missoula this week, and James Taylor is coming to town. We had the Rolling Stones in Missoula just last Spring. Plus, we are in between Missoula and Hamilton, and can take advantage of what the town of Hamilton (shops, restaurants, county offices) has to offer also. I would seriously check into Stevensville.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Mission Valley, MT
1 posts, read 21,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMTman View Post
Pellet stoves (I think) are banned in Missoula for this reason.
Got pellet stoves mixed up with wood stoves. Pellet stoves burn clean and are allowed. My corp. up here produces wood pellets, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylu1326
Polson is too far away from Msla - you're talking at least 2 hours travel time.
Hour and a half tops. Even on a bad day.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:17 PM
 
369 posts, read 1,347,683 times
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One of the advantages of living in Frenchtown (15) miles away or Stevensville (about the same) are lower property taxes. If you can live anywhere in the county you'll pay lower taxes. Right now in our 3,400 sq ft home on a 100'x100' lot I'm paying $4,500 per year, double what it was when I moved back to MT 13 years ago! I image that a similar house in the two areas I mentioned are about 1/2 that or less. Frenchtown and Stevensville schools have a very good reputation.
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