Rating the Towns 2011: 10,000-15,000

 

The extremely close race for the top spot here saw Weston and Canton edge out last time’s leader, Old Saybrook. Weston might have lengthened its margin with lower real estate prices, but it’s a pretty long drop from its median house price of $748,000 to second-place Old Saybrook’s $398,000. On the other hand, Weston’s median was $965,000 four years ago and $830,000 in 2009, so it is moving, willingly or not, in a more affordable direction.

Young families looking for a nice combination of reasonably low real-estate prices and good school performance might look to No. 4 Granby or, better yet, East Hampton, where the median house price is around $235,000 and the test scores are solidly above average. There’s frontage on the Connecticut River, too, but that’ll cost you extra.
And speaking of rivers, it’s hard not to notice that the Naugatuck River Valley remains a benighted place as far as these surveys are concerned—and has been since our first one in 1992. From Plymouth and Thomaston, through Waterbury and Naugatuck, down to Derby and Ansonia, the unemployment rates remain stubbornly high and efforts at redevelopment have been spotty at best and non-starters at worst (like Naugatuck’s highly touted “Renaissance” project, which has gone nowhere in the five years since it was announced). The solution, as always, is threefold: jobs, jobs and jobs. Maybe Gov. Malloy can make the Naugatuck Valley the lab for his much-awaited jobs initiative.

Click Here to see the stats for the Top 10 Towns.

Town
Education
Crime
Economy
Cost
Leisure
Total
1. Weston
1
1
1
20
9
32
2. Canton
3
2
5
18
5
33
3. Old Saybrook
5
7
2
19
1
34
4. Granby
4
4
8
13
7
36
5. New Fairfield
6
3
3
16
11
39
6. Orange
2
12
6
17
4
41
7. Clinton
13
10
7
12
2
44
8. Somers
7
8
9
14
8
46
9. Cromwell
9
13
11
11
6
50
10. East Hampton
8
6
15
8
15
52
11. North Branford
14
11
10
9
10
54
12. Oxford
12
5
4
15
18
54
13. Coventry
10
15
12
10
14
61
14. Stafford
11
9
17
7
17
61
15. Windsor Locks
19
17
13
3
12
64
16. Derby
20
20
18
5
3
66
17. Griswold
16
14
16
2
20
68
18. Plymouth
15
16
19
4
16
70
19. East Windsor
18
19
14
6
13
70
20. Winchester
17
18
20
1
19
75

HOW TO READ THE CHART
The chart at right shows the 26 Connecticut towns with populations between 25,000 and 50,000. The best possible rating in any category is 1 and the worst is 26. Remember: Low scores are good. Ties were broken in favor of the town with the higher voter turnout.

This article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Connecticut Magazine.

Rating the Towns 2011: 10,000-15,000

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