In The News

West Chester Twp. named Top 100 Best Places to Live

West Chester Township

By Hannah Poturalski, Staff Writer

The only Ohio community to make the cut this year, West Chester Twp. again has been named in the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Money Magazine.

The township ranked No. 97 overall for the magazine’s 2012 list which will appear in its September issue. This is the third time for West Chester Twp. to make the list — having previously ranked No. 32 in 2010 and No. 45 in 2005, according to Money Magazine.

The rankings are based on statistics such as education, employment, crime and quality of life.

“It has an active town center called The Square where activities from a summer concert series to a weekly farmers’ market take place,” according to the magazine’s ranking. “The town has a prime location 20 minutes outside Cincinnati and a bit more than a half-hour from Dayton.”

Another reason for the ranking is the Lakota schools, which serve West Chester and Liberty townships and have celebrated 10 consecutive years of being rated “excellent” on the state’s report card rating.

The magazine also cited a booming population due to large employers such as AK Steel and West Chester Hospital. Over the past decade, the population in West Chester Twp. has grown more than 11 percent to about 61,300, according to U.S. Census data.

Judith Boyko, township administrator, said West Chester Twp. is “honored and humbled” to have made multiple entries on the ranking. As well as AK Steel and West Chester Hospital, Boyko cited the investments of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, GE Aviation, Duke Realty and Schumacher Dugan Construction.

“For all of their investment during the challenges of the economy, West Chester is forever grateful,” Boyko said.

Trustee Catherine Stoker said national rankings such as by Money Magazine are important for the township’s ability to attract employers which provide jobs and benefits to residents and a larger tax base. Stoker said when she first became a trustee in 1994, 75 percent of property taxes were residential. The rate has now reached more than 50 percent of property taxes from commercial properties.

“We work hard as trustees to ensure we’re offering what the companies want,” Stoker said.

Also making regular appearances on the annual ranking, the Warren County communities of Mason and Springboro were listed in 2011 as No. 24 and No. 42, respectively. They were not ranked this year. Topping off this year’s list, Carmel, Ind. — with population of 80,100 — ranked No. 1.