In 2005, CNN and Money Magazine recognized Dyer as one of the top 100 places to live in the United States.
Things have only gotten better for the small bedroom community (population 16,000) known for its superlative quality of life.
“Dyer is a remarkable place to live and work,” says Town Administrator Tom DeGiulio. “There are many reasons why the media continues to list it as one of the best places to live.”
Dyer ranks as one of the top 20 safest towns in the state. DeGiulio stresses that there are specific reasons for the high rating.
“The Police Department reported that crime is on the downward slide for the fourth year in a row,” he explains. “The collaborative effort between the community and the police department has played a crucial part in the reduction in crime.”
Dyer residents feel safe in their neighborhoods and in the community in general. “When residents feel safe and secure, that is one of the most important quality-of-life factors,” DeGiulio adds. “The men and women of the Dyer Police Department work hard to maintain the safe town status that Dyer has earned. It could not be accomplished with their effort alone and we recognize the important role the residents have played in keeping our community great.”
The Lake Central School Corporation (LCSC) has received a grade of “A”—the highest grade available—from the Indiana Department of Education the past three years. Both the ISTEP+ and End of Course assessments for Dyer are significantly higher than the state average, and the high school graduation rate is over 95 percent, much higher than the state average.
“The success of any school corporation is the collaborative efforts of the school board, the administration, the teachers, and parents,” DeGiulio says. “The school board strives to provide an environment where the administration is able to be creative, and for the teachers and students to flourish.”
The Lake Central School Corporation believes every student should be able to reach his or her potential, and that teachers should be able to be creative in the classroom and make learning fun and challenging.
“A successful school corporation has parents that understand that they are an equal partner in the relationship,” DeGiulio adds. “That means they work with their students to ensure class work is completed on time and students are respectful, responsible and are held accountable for their actions.”
“Dyer has a multitude of housing options available for all ages and income levels,” DeGiulio says. “The availability of life cycling housing is important for a community to both grow and yet keep the housing stock stable.”
Dyer currently has two new housing developments in progress: Pennington has 41 single-family homes, and Village Circle West has 81 single-family homes. Both are located on the east side of town, north of U.S. 30. “Existing homes do not stay on the market for very long,” DeGiulio says. “The property values hold very well.”
“Dyer has undergone dramatic changes over the past decades,” DeGiulio says. “The expansion of U.S. 30 has created a vibrant commercial corridor. Plus, the extension of Calumet Avenue south from Main Street has unlocked acres of property for new development including Central Park.”
DeGiulio stresses that town officials want to be deliberate in how property is developed. The town is willing to work with developers to bring their projects to fruition, and they seek developers who are willing to work with the town to keep projects in line with long-term plans.
One example is Doc’s Smokehouse and Craft Bar, located on Calumet Avenue. It took time to work out the particulars between owners and town officials, but eventually Doc's opened its doors. The eatery has 60 craft beers on tap, and 100 bourbons and whiskeys. They specialize in authentic southern-style barbecue that is smoked exclusively with hickory and dry rub.
“I have been a physician in Dyer for over 30 years,” says owner Dr. Himanshu Doshi. “I wanted to build a family-friendly place that could compete with establishments in Chicago. The town helped us create just that.”
Sanfratello’s Pizza recently expanded its Dyer location to include a dining room that seats 100 patrons. “I’m a lifelong resident of Dyer,” says co-owner Jennifer Stiglitz. “My husband and I wanted to stay here and expand our current location. We have a very loyal customer base, and we in turn are very loyal to our town.”
Casa Vieja Mexican Grille is planning to open its doors in June. Located on Joliet Street, the restaurant will feature a unique glass décor brought directly from Mexico.
“The town officials have been good to work with,” says owner Pedro Mendez. “Dyer is a great location for our business. We are excited to be part of the community.”
“Balancing the mix between small industries, institutional, commercial and residential is critical to our success and quality of life,” DeGiulio says. “The Franciscan St. Margaret Health facility is a key economic engine in the community.”
Dyer strives to continue progressing while retaining small town charm.
“The various town boards and commissions are staffed by citizens that want to provide a service to their community,” DeGiulio says. “People in elected and appointed positions are always aware that they are there to serve the entire community. The service of these volunteers to their community is often over-looked. But we appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in making Dyer a strong and vibrant community.”