Danville made its way onto another list of top places to live, this time as No. 9 of Livability.com’s top 10 Mayberry-like small towns.
Danville was chosen from among the 500 towns featured on the website with a population less than 25,000 people. According to an e-mail from a representative of the website to the Danville-Boyle County Economic-Development Partnership, Livability.com editors looked at median household incomes and home prices, crime rates, unemployment rate, average commute and distance to larger cities, as well as the quantity and quality of various lifestyle advantages.
Jody Lassiter, the EDP’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said the accolade was positive in and of itself, but also because it adds to the awards and recognition the city has received in the last two years. That also includes a Livability.com ranking as one of its top towns for preservation.
Making a list is good for promoting the town. Lassiter said being able to show people a list of lists where the town is ranked is even better.
“This ranking is another to add to a long list as we lead up to the vice presidential debate and the Battle of Perryville Commemoration that help us promote the community,” Lassiter said. “The rankings themselves aren’t our objective, but they are a great means of sharing our message about Danville and Boyle County as great places to do business, to visit, to live and to retire.”
Danville was chosen “because it offers a host of desirable quality of life amenities— natural beauty, a thriving arts and cultural scene, ample outdoor recreation — as well as economic development assets, such as research and development, a diverse business climate and low unemployment rate.”
Livability.com touts itself as a “comprehensive online resource on more than 500 of America's Best Places to live, visit, work, play and explore,” with a stated mission to “tell the story of the great places to live in between the big cities.” Other rankings include the top college towns, top cities for historic preservation and the best cities for affordable vacations.
Lassiter said the website is affiliated with Journal Communications, a company that produces literature for communities across the country and has printed the Danville magazine for the Chamber of Commerce the last several years.
“The fictional TV town of Mayberry still represents the ideal small town — a close-knit community with low crime, a slower pace and wholesome fun,” the website representative wrote. “For the Livability.com List of the Top 10 Small Towns list, editors set out to uncover the Mayberrys of 2012, places where life can still be simple, quiet and complete, but with more places for residents to gather other than the local barber shop.”