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May 09, 2013


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Dana Ames

Anecdotally from the West: I visited my cousins in Butte, Montana last summer, a town struggling to hold on to its population with only 1 (gigantic) working pit mine now working. It has become more of a college town with the expansion of Montana Tech, but the graduates go elsewhere for work. There is a multitude of older houses with great character in "on the hill" close to the downtown area that can be had for a song, but need a *lot* of work to bring them up to modern standards. The 30-somethings who are first-time home buyers want newer houses "out on the flat" - far away from shopping areas and not all that close to schools, either. These houses cost as much as the old houses would, combining price + necessary upgrades, but they're move-in ready. The great old historical residential areas of the town are in a sad state. It's really too bad. The area is certainly not comparable to a large urban setting, but I think the comparison holds.


Michael W. Kruse

Dana, I was there in August last year (for one day) and we were given an extensive tour of the whole city, though our focus was more on the impact of the mining industry. I can picture all the places you are talking about. And I think you are right.

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