Two area cities named top places to live in state

VIENNA – Vienna has been named the eighth best place to live in West Virginia, while Parkersburg has been named the 13th best, according to a real estate blog.

Movoto Real Estate, a California-based real estate company responsible for blogs, city guides and top ten listings, named Vienna as the eighth best place to live in West Virginia, with Parkersburg coming in at number 13, on the West Virginia Top 10 list released Friday.

Vienna was named the number eight best city in West Virginia after Bridgeport, Cheat Lake, Brookhaven, Morgantown, Charles Town, Dunbar and Clarksburg, the blog said.

Vienna was followed by Charleston, Huntington and Oak Hill, which edged out Parkersburg. Cross Lanes and Princeton round out the top 15 places to live in West Virginia, the blog states.

Each location was judged on its offering of total amenities, quality of life, cost of living, home and rent prices, household income, student-to-teacher ratio, total crimes, tax rates, unemployment, commute time, temperature and air quality.

Usually, Movoto only considers places with a population of 10,000 or greater, the blog said. Due to a lack of populated areas within the state, the blog lowered its requirements to places with populations of higher than 5,000.

Vienna, with a population of 10,686 according to Census data, was ranked first in West Virginia for amenities and tied with Parkersburg as first in tax rates. It scored the number 10 spot for crime rates, 13th place for commute times, tied with Parkersburg for the 15th spot for weather and air quality, 20th for quality of life, and 26th for unemployment.

Parkersburg, with a Census data population of 31,261, tied with Vienna for tax rates at first place, and came in second in the state for commute times. It was ranked 12th in the state for quality of life, tied with Vienna for the number 15 spot for weather, ranked 16th in amenities, 22nd for crime rates, and 26th for unemployment.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp was proud of Vienna for scoring as high as it did, he said.

“It is quite an honor to be recognized by (Movoto) as a great place to live and raise a family,” he said.

Rapp said he is proud of the schools the city offers and the city’s effort to focus on education. He cited the friendly nature of citizens as another reason why Vienna ranked as it did.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell disagreed with Parkersburg’s designation as number 13 on the list. He feels that the low tax rates, low annual fees and low crime rates should have ranked the city higher.

“I just don’t feel as if their information is accurate,” Newell said. “I am proud of Parkersburg; we have a wonderful city, and I think we should have had a higher ranking.”