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updated: 8/13/2013 5:29 AM

Buffalo Grove ranks among nation's best small towns

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  • Buffalo Grove ranks 46th on Money magazine's 2013 list of top small towns in America. The magazine, which included just one Illinois community on the list, praised Buffalo Grove for its open space, trails and economic stability.

       Buffalo Grove ranks 46th on Money magazine's 2013 list of top small towns in America. The magazine, which included just one Illinois community on the list, praised Buffalo Grove for its open space, trails and economic stability.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 

Only one Illinois community made Money magazine's list of America's top 50 small towns -- Buffalo Grove.

This is no surprise to Village President Jeffrey Braiman, who of course thinks his municipality should have ranked much higher than 46th.

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"We have been noted in other magazines over the years," Braiman said. "Now the country knows what we always knew -- Buffalo Grove is one of the great places to be.

"We have a stable economic environment, good schools, and park districts. Our municipal services are second to none, and it's an enjoyable place to live."

Safety and good education are what people are looking for, said Braiman, and with no crimes against people reported last year and the community served by two high schools -- Buffalo Grove and Stevenson -- and their feeder schools, he says Buffalo Grove makes the grade.

"One of the things that creates our reputation and our lifestyle and the value of our homes is the education our schools offer," Braiman said.

Citing advantages directly related to the municipal government, Braiman said the village earned a Triple-A bond rating during very bad economic times a few years ago and the award-winning police department helps make the community "a very safe place."

The magazine cites as a demerit that the "bedroom community" has no traditional downtown.

"But what it offers instead is ample green space, with 800 acres of forest and parkland, 50 miles of trails, and two municipal golf courses," the report states.

"The village enjoys economic stability and a wide range of employment options nearby -- Siemens Industry's U.S. headquarters are in Buffalo Grove, while major employers such as Kraft Foods and CVS corporate are a short drive away via I-94," the magazine writes.

Money magazine requires population diversity for its best small towns, and Braiman notes Buffalo Grove has strong Asian and Eastern European populations as well as representation of other minorities.

In addition to diversity, the magazine weighs factors such as housing, unemployment, air quality, commute times, weather, and leisure and culture in compiling its list.

As for culture and leisure, the village created an arts commission 15 years ago, and results include a symphonic band and an arts festival considered one of the top in the country, said the village president. Braiman also cited the talented young people who practice their arts at the local high schools.

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