'Money' ranks Martinez high

Jim Blaylock/Staff
Work continues on the Kroger renovation on Columbia Road. Martinez has been named to Money magazine's top 100 best places to live for communities with 7,000 to 50,000 residents.

Another Columbia County community has been named as one of the best places to live in America.

On Monday, Money magazine recognized Martinez as the 76th Best Place to Live among a top 100 list for 2007.

"I'm kind of happy about that," said Columbia County Commissioner Tommy Mercer, whose district includes Martinez. "I think the best place to live in the country is Columbia County, wherever you live in Columbia County."

Two years ago, the same publication put Evans on its list at No. 32. Evans was not listed this year.

A message left with Money requesting a comment on the list was not immediately returned Monday.

According to a magazine news release, it took into consideration a sense of community, economic opportunities, racial diversity and good schools. The list was whittled down from an initial list of 2,876 communities.

According to the magazine, Martinez has a population of 30,900, a median family income of $73,696, a median home price of $192,465 and average property taxes of $1,433 as of 2006. It also is listed as having 87.1 percent of residents on a health plan.

Middleton, Wis., with a population of 17,400, took the top spot.

Only two other Georgia communities, Suwanee at 10th place and Peachtree City at 64th, made the list.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

To view Money's Top 100 Best Places to Live list and see the breakdown for Martinez, visit money.cnn.com.