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Burnsville Sandwiched Between 2 Top-20 Cities for Living

Money Magazine placed Eagan and Lakeville among the best small U.S. cities in which to live this year, a distinction last bestowed upon Burnsville in 2008.

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Once again Burnsville's neighbors, Eagan and Lakeville, are ranked 14th and 19th, respectively, on Money Magazine's annual Best Places to Live list for 2012, which ranks the best small cities in the United States.

They're two of five Minnesota cities making the top-100 list, joining perennial favorite Eden Prairie, which is third; Woodbury, 11th; and Maple Grove, 22nd. Last year a different crop of five were selected: Chanhassen, Arden Hills, Lino Lakes, and Shoreview.

It's been a while since Burnsville cracked the list: In 2008 Burnsville made it into the top 100, clocking in at number 43. Burnsville got high marks for its development. 

Here's what was written about the city then:

When Burnsville residents in the '90s decided that they wanted a real downtown, they created one.The city has redeveloped a large area, replacing gas stations, strip malls and office buildings with apartments, condos, restaurants, an events center and a cooking school, all around Nicolet Commons Park.

Next up is a $20 million regional performing arts center that will seat 1,000. A Northern League ballpark for independent baseball teams is also on the way.

Residents are just 18 miles from Minneapolis and next to a series of lakes that run through the Twin Cities, providing lots of outdoor recreation activities.

The 2012 list is in the magazine’s September issue. It was posted on the CNNMoney.com website Monday morning.

Here is what Money says about Eagan this year:

"Just a 20-minute commute from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Eagan is often seen as a bedroom community. But there are a lot of people who commute to Eagan too, to work for large firms like Thomson Reuters, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Coca-Cola. That's helped keep the unemployment rate here well below the national average. Granted, Minnesota winters are brutal, but Eagan residents make up for it during the summer, spending time in the hundreds of lakes and parks that dot the city, as well as at , Minnesota's largest outdoor water park."

Here is what Money says about Lakeville this year:

"Kids have it good in Lakeville, a city just 26 miles from Minneapolis. All 14 of Lakeville's public schools beat the state averages; summertime brings swimming, boating, and fishing at Marion and Orchard lakes as well as hiking along the Genesee Valley Greenway. Lakeville's downtown is small but there are several shopping and restaurant destinations within driving distance, like the Burnsville Center shopping mall, just five miles north of the city.”

Click here to read more about this year’s rankings.

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