CNN Money ranks Pelham in Top 50 best small towns in
America for 2013
Pelham City Hall earlier this year displays a banner following new city leaders taking office in the municipality. (Martin J. Reed / firstname.lastname@example.org)
PELHAM, Alabama -- Pelham earned a spot as the only Alabama city listed in CNN Money Magazine's list of Top 50 best small towns in America released this morning.
The news organization ranked Pelham at 47th and noted economic strengths for the city that has a population of 22,297.
"This Birmingham suburb is a town on the rise. With new residents attracted by its steady job growth and low property taxes, Pelham's population has more than doubled over the past 20 years. The local unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is one of the lowest on the list," according to CNN Money.
"Tucked up against Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama's largest, where visitors can bike, fish, go boating, and more, the area offers no shortage of outdoor adventure," it added.
The ranking stated that Pelham has a median family annual income of $78,027 with job growth from 2010 to 2012 at 5.8 percent.
The median home price is $135,000, with personal crime incidents at one per 1,000 and property crime incidents at 18 per 1,000, according to the listing. In education, reading test scores are 10.4 percent above average and math test scores at 12.3 percent above average, according to the information listed with the ranking.
"We are proud of our community that has so much to offer its residents, businesses and visitors," Council President Rick Hayes said in an e-mail this morning. "Naturally, we also understand that we still have opportunities for improvement and will remain committed to doing everything we can to make Pelham and our entire community great in every way possible."
The Pelham City Council has been pushing for improvements to the city, mainly using education as the driving force to stir business and other economic growth. The council is continuing to focus on education through discussions about forming a municipal school district separate from Shelby County's system. The council also passed a 1 percent sales tax increase to raise money for education in the city.
The council recently noted the completion of the land deal with outdoor furniture manufacturer Summer Classics, which is consolidating its operations at the former Moore-Handley site on Highway 31.
A marketing consulting firm recently told the council that Pelham has plenty of opportunity for growth in several retail areas. The major obstacle for growth is the lack of available space for businesses, Birmingham-based Retail Strategies told the council.
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