Those are complicated questions. Here are some very simple answers
1. The taxes pay for the municipal services. Right now, the vacant properties reduce the overall income and the larger proportion of poor, with attendant social issues, increase the costs of services like police and fire. The city is also very old. Like NYC, aging infrastructure costs.
2. Crime. Things are getting better. Some things are not yet.
3. Local Gov. Get involved when you can; it makes a difference in a small city.
4. There are fledgling organizations. Those who have started successful businesses in the last few years did their homework.
5. Many gay and lesbian couples and singles…all ages and backgrounds. You will easily make friends very quickly with gay and gay-friendly people.
Come and visit. Consider renting before making a final decision. Good luck! Ask Cher for my contact information if you like.