Nicole Stephens was surprised that a credit card comparison website would name Hermitage the best Pennsylvania city to live in, but she didn’t mean that in a negative way.
“That’s a good thing,” said the stay-at-home mom of three and lifelong city resident.
The city has a lot going for it, including its safety and recreational offerings, Stephens said, taking a break from running on the trail at LindenPointe business park.
“I think it’s a nice city to raise your kids,” said the graduate of Thiel College, Greenville. “The education is good.”
Hermitage was touted by creditdonkey.com, which based its city ratings on crime rate, commute time, income, education and number of restaurants for each resident.
The rest of the top five cities are Greensburg, Bethlehem, Meadville and Altoona.
Creditdonkey.com Founder Charles Tran said the rankings are designed to help young adults and families “make a savvy decision about where to live.
“Folks often think of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, but there’s a lot more to Pennsylvania than those two big cities and we wanted to highlight our opinion of the best communities to live in Pennsylvania,” Tran said.
In addition to the main demographic factors, Creditdonkey.com also noted Hermitage’s proximity to Youngstown, affordable housing and below average cost of living – and that it is home to Philadelphia Candies.
City Manager Gary P. Hinkson joked that the city’s top ranking is “something I’ve been saying all my life.”
“It is good to receive positive recognition,” he said. “I know that the board of commissioners is very focused on providing services, projects and programs that promote a high quality of life in the community.”
Stephens said she likes that Hermitage is halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and that she – prior to having kids – and her husband were able to find jobs in the health-care field here.
But, she also spoke of the benefits of the community at large, noting that she is looking forward to WaterFire Sharon, which returns for its second year July 19.
“It’s great for the community,” she said.
For the complete list of best cities and an explanation of methodology, visit www.creditdonkey.com/life-pennsylvania