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Greensburg makes Top 10 lists

| Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 6:59 p.m.

NerdWallet, a San Franciso-based consumer advocacy group, has ranked Greensburg as the second-best town in Pennsylvania for young families.

“It's makes me feel good,” Greensburg Mayor Ron Silvis said. “We work hard with the fire department, the police department and the streets department.”

Silvis noted he was born and raised in Greensburg, and taught school and served as an administrator in the Greensburg Salem School District before becoming mayor. “Greensburg is a wonderful town,” he said.

NerdWallet's ranking naturally took schools into account.

“I was thrilled to learn of this distinction particularly because one of the selection criteria was quality of schools,” district Superintendent Eileen Amato said.

“Our teachers and staff members work extremely hard to provide an exemplary education for our students, as well as providing a nurturing and caring environment. We value our partnerships with our young families and thank them for their interest and support of all we do,” she added.

Mike Anderson did the analysis for Nerd Wallet, which was founded by a Stanford-educated hedge fund analyst.

“There were three primary factors: income, affordability and quality of schools,” Anderson said. “The bulk of the data came from the census.”

Anderson compared 90 Pennsylvania towns and cities with a population of 10,000 or greater.

The cost of a home was an appealing factor in Greensburg's case, he said.

The median price of a home is $115,600 in Greensburg, which was named after Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene.

And the city showed a 34.6 percent increase in incomes from 1999 to 2011, Anderson said. The median income of a Greensburg household was $40,801 in 2011.

GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that champions children's education, gave Greensburg Salem a high mark — 8 out of 10 — mostly based on standardized testing, Anderson said.

“The town supports a lively arts scene with its Palace Theatre and the Westmoreland Museum of (American) Art,” he said. “For families that love spending outdoor time together, Greensburg has a Five Star Trail, which features 8 miles of space for biking, jogging and cross-country skiing.”

This week, Movoto, a real estate association, ranked Greensburg tied for eighth place with West Chester on its list of 50 best Pennsylvania cities.

Greensburg — with a population under 15,000 and a cost of living under the state average — was the smallest on Movoto's list,

Once again, the city was lauded for its cultural attractions, along with parks.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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