Miles from Boston 15
Population 7,972 (2005)
Median house price $353,500 (2007)
Tax rate $12.43
Average single-family property tax $4,733 (State average $3,799)
Transportation Routes 109, 115.
MCAS Among 280 systems, 10th-graders ranked 10 in English and 11 in math, according to a Globe analysis of 2006 results. Sixth-graders ranked 185 out of 305 systems in English and 102 in math, according to Globe analysis of 2006 MCAS results. Third-graders ranked 91 out of 298 systems in reading and 28 in math. Member, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Census facts Median family income is $72,171 compared to national rate of $50,046 and 38 percent held a bachelors degree or higher compared to national rate of 24 percent.
MILLIS -- One of the town's playgrounds received $60,000 worth of new equipment recently. The cost to taxpayers? Nothing.
"It was all volunteer," said Charles Aspinwall, Millis town administrator. "It really showed how the community could come together to meet the needs of the town other than through the usual governmental processes."
Aspinwall cited residents' commitment to Millis as a key reason to move here. He also said finances are "stable," education scores are improving, and the town is looking to build a $7.5 million library with state help.
Also, Millis officials have begun efforts to entice commercial development; residential property owners currently pay 91 percent of taxes.
The town is pushing redevelopment in its downtown -- a mixed-use project is about to be launched -- and is anxious to reinvigorate industrial properties now going unused, Aspinwall said.
Greenspace includes the 80-acre Bridge Island Meadows, a Trustees of Reservations property, and the town offers three canoe launch points onto the Charles River.
Settled by Europeans in 1658, Millis was incorporated in 1885 and was a farming community that gave way to modest industrial development that included production of paper, organ pipes, and mass-produced lace, according to a town history.
On a recent week, Realtor.com listed 43 single-family homes, ranging from $299,848 for a three-bed, one-bath, 1,144-square-foot home to $569,500 for a four-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,700-square-foot home. Median price of a single-family home through June was $353,500, according to the Warren Group, which publishes real estate information.
JOHN RICHARDSON ELLEMENT