Best place to raise kids– even if we didn’t have a super Wal-Mart
Nov 22, 2011 | 1704 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week the Businessweek Bloomberg Business Report named Benton The Best Place To Raise Kids in Kentucky. Benton beat out over 400 other Kentucky cities to take the honor and that should make us quite proud as a community. After all, what could be more important than providing a safe, educationally-superior, family-oriented environment for our children?

I had to chuckle, though, as I read Bloomberg’s account of amenities in Benton. Number one among them was our Super Walmart. Really? I think Bloomberg would have been served well by contacting someone who actually lives here and is currently raising their children here. They might have learned of a number of things that make us truly unique and deserving of the honor. I doubt that many among us who know this community would have had our minds go straight to the fact that we have a Super Walmart as our greatest achievement.

The list of amenities we do have is extensive and impressive. Take for example the fact we have a county park that is unsurpassed anywhere in our region and perhaps in the state. While not actually located in the city of Benton, Mike Miller Park is used by Benton children and when parents from other counties visit for ballgames, etc. they are envious of its offerings. With soccer fields, baseball/softball fields, a lake, pavilions, walking trails and more all nestled in an inviting setting, it is a gem worthy of being listed as an amenity.

Marshall County also has plans on the drawing board for a new Children’s Art Center, with bids for construction about to open. The Center will be located in the heart of Benton and offer a place for our children to pursue all sorts of interests in the arts including music, drama, visual arts and more. The Marshall County Arts Commission has worked tirelessly to secure grants and donors to make the center possible and it will soon be a reality.

With so many of its offerings directed to the youth of our community, you can’t overlook our county’s health department as an important amenity. While the Marshall County Health Department has long provided important services to the children of Benton and beyond, the program’s importance will only be strengthened when they move into their new facilities sometime next year.

Space in this column will not allow me to list all of our amenities, but suffice it to say they are numerous and deserving of the honor, Best Place to Raise Kids in Kentucky. I’d like to invite the editors at Bloomberg not just to google us, but to pay us a visit. They won’t be sorry they bestowed the honor upon us, but they will be just a little more enlightened. After all, we have a Super Walmart if they forget anything during their stay.
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