Mayor Battle aiming to finish higher in ‘Best Place to Live’ rankings

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Following Huntsville’s #3 ranking for Best Place to Live, Mayor Tommy Battle says he won’t stop until Huntsville is #1.

The report itself lists other categories. Some of which Huntsville gets the top spot. Ranking 1st as the cheapest metro in the U.S. and best city in Alabama. Huntsville’s worst rank is Best Place to Retire. Ranking 78 out of 150. The Rocket City is also ranked 18th in the Safest City category.

“We work on every one of those areas every day. That’s the key to it. You keep working on each one. You don’t want to fall back in any of them. You want to keep moving forward. Being the best city in Alabama is very important. Being 3rd best in the nation is a great thing. The way we get better is to be the 2nd best or the 1st,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.

The rankings are made based on survey results and public data on things like housing, crime and employment. Huntsville’s crime data both in the rankings and from public data, show a downward trend in violent crime across Huntsville, despite rapid growth.

“As you watch those numbers, you’ve been able over the last year to go down. That’s an important thing for your community. Your community has to feel safe,” said Battle.

The assumption is, if Huntsville works on crime and retirement, they could finish even higher with U.S. News & World Report rankings. Mayor Battle says Huntsville recently hired a new Parks & Rec director to better engage the senior community.

“That parks and recreation director is working on programming to make sure we have programs that fit for everybody. All the way from the 4-year-old that wants to play t-ball to the 7-year-old doing balance classes,” said Battle.

The rankings also have quick stats like average commute time. Huntsville sits at 22 minutes per commute to work. Mayor Battle was recently in Washington D.C to seeing if federal leaders are interested in updates to I-565 and 231.

“We talked about how we could continue to keep growing. Growing our infrastructure,” said Battle.

News 19 will have more on Battle’s trip to D.C. later this week.

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