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Folks Turn Out in Marion

I enjoyed visiting with about 60 Marion residents last week for the First Impressions presentation. The folks in attendance were ready to take the reins and begin to make a difference in their town.

Bordered by Meridian on three sides, Marion has an opportunity to benefit greatly from its larger neighbor. The team was pleasantly surprised to find many newer subdivisions in town. Also, the confederate cemetery was a nice find as well. It was really interesting to learn that the Marion Dollar General store is at the top of the sales heap for all stores in that region. After a quick visit inside the store, it's no secret that goods are flying off the shelves.

Besides its limited tax base, a challenge for Marion is its lack of a downtown core. Downtowns are the "heartbeats" of any community. They provide a central location where folks can get out of their automobiles and walk, talk, visit, eat, shop...well you get the picture. In communities that are mostly designed for automobile use except for, perhaps, a few residential neighborhoods, it's more of a challenge to try to develop a sense of place and create an environment conducive to community gatherings.

Several folks last week told me they really wanted to see Marion grow and evolve in a positive way. Beginning with community appearance projects is a great first step to creating an inviting community to prospective families and businesses. Residents can get involved quickly, and the impacts can be quite astonishing after only a short time.

It's hard to think about planning for 25 years in the future, but it's important to do so. Creating communities that we want to live in tomorrow requires that we plan accordingly today. Just like many of small towns in Mississippi, Marion has an opportunity to carve out its niche too.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2009 11:32 AM.

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