BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL – Centerville is the best place in Utah to raise kids.
That’s the claim of the nerdwallet.com/blog released earlier this month. The entry ranked communities on the basis of family-friendliness.
Kaysville came in second, Syracuse was third and Bountiful took fourth place.
Evaluations included the quality of public schools, affordability, income and home value.
Centerville came up in the top spot “thanks to its strong educational system; it’s the only town on the list that received a perfect score from GreatSchools,” according to the post. GreatSchools.org is a non-profit website that ranks school performance and provides homework help, among other things.
The NerdWallet post noted that Davis School District is considered one of the highest-performing districts in the state. Teachers are recognized regularly for their excellence, and students “clearly have benefited: the College Board recently named the district’s students among the top performers on AP tests across the nation.”
It called Kaysville “Utah’s Hometown,” citing its rich history, beginning with Hector Caleb Haight, “who helped lay the foundations of not only Kaysville but neighboring Farmington, too.”
The city boasts family-oriented communities and stellar schools, it said, calling Davis High School a leader in the state in the number of students taking the AP exam and second in the number who pass.
“Life in Syracuse is centered around the family,” the blog noted. It said about 82 percent of Syracuse residents are married, many with children, “making for a large and inviting community.”
It noted the city’s distinction as the gateway to Antelope Island, adding “the economy has a lot to offer.” The city’s “explosive” residential and business growth was also cited.
In writing of Bountiful, it said that although it’s a short distance from Ogden and Salt Lake City, “Bountiful has cultivated a unique and warm community of its own.”
It cited the Handcart Days celebration as an example of community pride.
“For a lot of reasons, we’d certainly agree” with the top ranking, said Blaine Lutz, Centerville finance director.
“Parents provide great support to our schools,” he said, citing that as one reason he believes education is strong.
Property taxes have not been raised since 1994, but the city saw relatively strong residential and commercial growth during the recession.
“It’s a great location along the Wasatch Front, a safe place with a good police force,” Lutz said, adding, “We continue to see the potential of our local economy expanding.”