21 Years of growing up here - 6/21/2012
You see thousands of reviews all over the place about how Alliance is awful, yet none of them give you details as to the reasons behind it beyond the duplicates of "schools suck, nothing to do, poor job selection." Allow me to give you the perspective of someone who has grown calm and isn't frustrated. However, this does not mean I enjoy the place.
Alliance, Ne is a small town with a population of around 9,000. The community is rather sheltered around here and doesn't have a great grasp of the outside world due to its distance from any major area. If you are looking for a quiet place to live with a few friends and family, it isn't really a bad place to be provided that you do not mind taking a trip if you feel that you need to get a bit more excitement. As a young man, I can say personally that I wish that the excitement was a bit closer. However, we do have an impressive array of excellent restaurants, I would recommend the Homestead Diner located on Flack or Ayo Grill located on 3rd. Both have polite owners and well prepared food that I can personally vouch for being tasty.
Another point which people don't emphasize is the cost of living. This is an easy place to live out of, with apartments usually going for around 300 to 400 depending on where you look. I stayed with a group of friends at the "Great Plains Apartments", and I was rather pleased at the price for the 3 room location with the kitchen somewhat built into the living room. The "Towers" located on Boyd Ave are a bit lower (that 300 I was talking about later) depending on what you choose, and they also pay for utilities last time I checked. However, this does not mean that everything in cheap in Alliance. I cannot say personally what the costs are compared to other locations, but much of the technology here is out of date and overpriced. As for general items, I cannot make that comparison very well.
The community itself is rather tightly knit, a bit of nervousness directed toward newcomers. It is easy to say that you will have to make the first move when making a friend here. After that, I'm sure they will warm up to you provided that you do not do anything to isolate yourself due to their delicate sensibilities. If you do manage to make friends here, you will find a large population of them have something in common, a bar. As a young man, I have noticed a number of people of different ages going to the various alcoholic establishments around town. There are also large, community organizations that you wouldn't be able to experience in other locations. It seems as if the entire town is parked at the location, enjoying a bite to eat, some entertainment, or just having light conversation with friends. To put it simply, this is the "simple life" in all of its glory. Among other things, you will have to find your own entertainment, such as driving to a popular location that is usually in another location. Basically, if you want the fun to be given to you, you will not enjoy it here very much.
The school system isn't as "horrid" as these people play it out to be. A lot of the reaction is due to witnessing bad parenting. I will admit that the youth around here aren't the brightest bunch, as I can recall a number of pregnant women, dropouts, or heavy drinkers in my class alone. From what you keep hearing "through the grapevine" in this town (gossip is a popular thing unfortunately), the kids are only getting worse. However, if you are a good parent and remind your son or daughter to stay out of the negative crowds, the teachers are rather friendly and helpful. There is much more of a personal experience in a small town school. However, there is an obvious preference towards sports, which annoyed me when I was younger, but I grew to understand the reason for the popularity of the local team as I aged, seeing it as another form of entertainment for some individuals. Personally, I am not very fond of it.
Road conditions are in a rather sloppy state as well, one section of brick road still remains in the downtown part of Alliance. It is kept for historical purposes and an attempt to keep the "small town" feel of Alliance, Ne. However, the roads are in a poor condition all over Western Nebraska. It does not change very much from city to city.
To conclude. If you are looking for a city that doesn't sleep, Alliance, Ne isn't the place for you. However, if you are looking for a sleepy little town where you wouldn't mind working for the Railroad, a Hose Factory, or some other manual labor job, this might be the perfect place for you.[read more...]
Crime, Cost of living, and some other facts - 1/13/2011
I honestly can not wait to get out of this town.. I grew up in a much larger area and this was complete culture shock for me when I first moved here. Pros for the town are rent is very low. For a two bedroom decent appartment it's about $400 pr month. If your a regular church goer we have TONS of churches to chose from. Yeah i can't think of anymore pros off the top of my head.... CONS - The city of Alliance has very very poor money managment skills. The schools have TERRIBLE money management skills, they would much rather buy new bleachers vs paying to replace books that are well over 10 years old. The rent may be low but our tax rate is really high it's 7.5% sales tax here on everything BUT groceries. People in this town are rude. New businesses can't seem to keep their doors open for longer then 6 months. Our streets are TERRIBLE!!!! Had to replace very expensive parts in the front end suspention of my car because of pot holes that are un avoidable. To buy a decent house here plan on spending at the least $120,000. Our cops are crooked, our crime rate is a lot more then 4. I would say more like a 6 or 7. Seems like drunks are always walking around causing some kind of trouble or breaking something or breaking INTO something. There is absolutely nothing to do here besides travel an hour to a larger town for mediocre shopping. All anybody does is go to the bars get drunk and then fight each other (sounds like fun huh). Also in the last 5ish years there have been quite a few deaths.. Homicides, suicides, a handful accidental.. I don't recommend this area for anybody but maybe a single railroader that plans on moving back home in less then a year.. I didn't even touch on the job situation. Good jobs here are BNSF and Parker the end.. An accountant with a bachelors degree is lucky to make $25,000 a year here.. [read more...]
A good place to live! - 4/9/2009
Alliance is a great place to live if you understand what it won't be. It is not the big city. Don't expect fancy restaurants, plays, concerts, or lots of nightlife. It is a small rural town with great parks, a 5 plex movie theater, a low cost of living -- average 24% below national averages, decent jobs, and friendly people.
It doesn't have a lot of shopping but you can find most things in town you are looking for -- just not at the big boxes you are used to in the major cities. It is an easy place to walk and to commute. NO traffic. Great churches and nearby to many things including all types of outdoor recreation.[read more...]