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Old 05-01-2012, 06:04 AM
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My husband was offered a job at the college, and I have a few questions.

We prefer to live close to work so he can ride his bike or walk, is Mckenzie a nice little town to live in?

We have three children, 15 , 8 and 7. Are there things to do? Ie sports & recreation? I have one involved in basketball and track, and the two younger ones like to dance and figure skate? We don't mind driving a bit to those things.

I have worked p/t over the years as a waitress- any nice restaurants close by??

Housing and rent pricing: reasonable??

Good schools??

Any help or comments would be much appreciated, We are moving from an Upstate NY small town.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:18 PM
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Hi chailey88,

Congrats on your husbands new job! I don't know anything about McKenzie and I found only one previous thread about it here.

Maybe you will be our new McKenzie expert once you get settled?! Welcome Home to TN!

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Old 05-01-2012, 07:38 PM
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I have a little familiarity with McKenzie due to having family in some of the nearby towns (Atwood, Huntingdon, and Martin, namely).

McKenzie is a typical northwestern TN town. There are several little towns in that area that look much like McKenzie (Dresden, Greenfield, and Huntingdon come to mind). You'll have to spend some time there to determine whether that's charming or nice. Personally, I love those little towns. Most of them are shrinking, though. NW TN has largely been passed over by the population and prosperity growth experienced by most of the rest of the state. (There's a big chunk of southern Middle TN that has, as well.)

Housing in NW TN is relatively inexpensive. Schools in that area are not known for being 'great,' but I suspect they are safe and decent -- which is about as much as a person can ask for from a rural district in our part of the world.

As far as restaurants -- that's a tough one. You have to realize that McKenzie is--literally--in the middle of nowhere. There are a few sit-down places in and around Paris, which is around 20 miles away. Otherwise, Jackson is your closest 'big' town (45 miles away); in this case, the 'big' town has a population of only 60,000, though it does support many sit-down restaurants.

Come for a visit and see if it works for you!
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:46 PM
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Used to live there, have been back a few times in the last year or so.

McKenzie has inexpensive housing, that is the best positive.

It does have a couple of those stupid traffic cameras that will give you a random $50 driving tax, and that pretty much sums up the city government--it is broke and has to resort to gimmicks like that to make payroll.

McKenzie is sort of too close and too far from other cities. There are not really any good eateries, except for Subway, Chinese food and Tennessee Mexican; there are some decent eateries in Huntingdon (but not on Sundays), several in Paris, and anything you'd want in Jackson. Other than hardware / farm supplies, there are few retail options in town; there is a small Wal-Mart in Huntingdon, a Lowes in Paris, and everything in Jackson. There is a small regional grocery chain in McKenzie good for when one runs out of something, but limited selection and expensive. There is a Krogers in Paris or the Wal-Mart in Huntingdon. No movie house, a quaint one-screener in Huntingdon, and a multi-screen in Paris.

Elementry school was pretty good. There were some good people there, there is a surprising number of young families. Downtown area is just about dead. The local furniture factory closed in 2008 or so and no new industry has come in. One small downtown library, but the Bethel library is bigger and lets the locals check out books. Lots of antique / junk store / flea market places.

Bottom line, you'd get dirt cheap housing, even some land if you wanted it. Some good people live there. But almost no sit down eateries to speak of. Almost no shopping options. Other than productions put on by Bethel, no entertainment. Pretty much all shopping and entertainment will have a 15 - 45 minute drive attached to it.

Huntingdon (a factory town 15 or 20 minutes south) has a vibrant downtown, a few eateries, and a Wal-Mart, a Tractor Supply Store, etc. Has a few of those stupid traffic cameras, but all of them are around Wal-Mart and one can usually plan trips to avoid them entirely.

Paris is 20 - 30 minutes to the North East. Larger town, more eateries, stores, etc. Decent downtown area. Nice library. No traffic cams. Close to Murray KY, close to Land-between-the-Lakes nature area.

Of the three cities McKenzie would come out last place in most any unbiased evaluation. If you move there, go to one of the larger churches--that will connect you to other people.
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