Farmer's Insurance Survey 2009


VALLEY RANKS AT TOP

        December 23rd, 2009

By Brandon Macz of the Tribune

Lewiston-Clarkston most secure place to live, according to insurance company


The Lewiston-Clarkston Valley has been ranked the most secure area in the country to call home, according to the Farmers Insurance Group.

Farmers spokesman Jerry Davies at Los Angeles said 480 small towns - with a population of 150,000 or less - were surveyed and only 20 were selected, with Lewiston and Clarkston taking the top spot.

"That is very pleasing to learn that we've made someone's list in a good way," said Clarkston Mayor Donna Engle, adding of Clarkston, "It's a good little city to live in."

The ongoing surveys started six years ago, Davies said, in an effort to identify how communities had adapted as far as safety following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That involves looking at police and fire departments, the local job markets, schools and the overall economy of each of the cities surveyed.

"We noticed local governments were taking more of an interest in making their communities secure," Davies said. "We could basically measure how a community prepares itself for any kind of emergency."

According to a Farmers Insurance Group news release, Lewiston and Clarkston "scored high in the study due to excellent job growth, low crime and minimal housing depreciation."

Lewiston City Manager John C. (Jay) Krauss said he was hopeful valley agencies that promote the community - such as the chamber of commerce - will be able to use the Farmers Insurance ranking to sell people on the quality of life that exists here.

"Any time you get national recognition is a positive," he said. "It tells folks that this is a safe place to live in."

Keith Havens, president and chief executive of the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce, said it was great for the community to get pushed to No. 1 this year from its No. 6 ranking in 2008.

"The great part about the information is it verifies a lot of what we've known about what a great place this is to live," he said. "We'll take good news anywhere we can get it."

Bob Tippett, executive director for Valley Vision, said he was proud to hear about the valley's ranking and believes business owners looking to relocate care about the safety of their potential communities.

"Those are always very positive things when you're talking about quality of life," Tippett said of the valley's top spot. "That's something that we definitely talk about."

Outdoor Life magazine also pointed to Lewiston as the best place in the nation for hunters and anglers to call home this year, and National Geographic Adventure named Lewiston as one of the top waterfront destinations in the country in 2007.

Davies said he would be coming to Lewiston and Clarkston some time next year to present both city councils with plaques in recognition of the valley's top ranking for small towns in the country.

"I congratulate your community and your community's leaders."

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Macz may be contacted at bmacz@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2275.


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