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Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008

City also among best places to live

jweinstein@theolathenews.com

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The magazine accolades continue.

About a week after Forbes named Johnson County one of the best places to raise a family, Money magazine on Monday released its list of the best places to live in the country. Olathe checked in at No. 11, moving up two spots from 2006.

“Once a prairie of wildflowers, Olathe has outgrown its sleepy roots with tremendous development,” according to a capsule describing the city’s ranking. It noted that Olathe, “one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation” boasted large corporate entities ALDI, Farmers Insurance, Garmin and Honeywell.

“Money magazine didn’t tell us something we didn’t already know,” Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland said. “Olathe is a fantastic place to live. It’s a fantastic place to have a business and to raise a family. We’ve known that for quite some time.”

The magazine indicated Olathe ranked highly in several categories including housing, quality of life, weather and health.

Copeland added several other reasons that Olathe is one of the best places to live: a stable tax base, great job opportunities, safe streets and wonderful amenities near a major metropolitan area.

“There are some great communities around the country,” he said. “There are very, very few exceptional communities. I’m very proud to say Olathe is one of the few exceptional communities in our country. I’m glad Money magazine recognizes that as well.”

Other cities in the metro made the list. Overland Park, ranked 9th, was the only city rated higher than Olathe. Shawnee was ranked 39th, and Lee’s Summit, Mo., came in at 79th.

The list can be viewed at www.cnnmoney.com/bestplaces. It will appear in the August edition, which will be available July 21.

Top 11 1. Plymouth, Minn., 70,100 2. Fort Collins, Colo., 129,400 3. Naperville, Ill., 142,900 4. Irvine, Calif., 193,900 5. Franklin Township, N.J., 59,100 6. Norman, Okla., 102,800 7. Round Rock, Texas, 92,300 8. Columbia/Ellicott City, Md., 158,800 9. Overland Park, 166,700 10. Fishers, Ind., 61,800 11.Olathe, 114,600

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