Government

Marion Chamber asks residents to narrow ideas in visioning process

Voting is now open for the ImagiNEXT process

(Screenshot from ImagiNEXT website)
(Screenshot from ImagiNEXT website)

MARION — Residents now are able to vote in the ImagiNEXT visioning process to ask for amenities, services or projects they would like the city to consider or prioritize in coming years.

The process that began in October follows Imagin8, which started in 2009 and left Marion officials with eight ideas, including expanding parks and trails, an expanded library and downtown Wi-Fi hot spots.

In this new process, Marion residents submitted over 3,000 ideas by Jan. 15, according to a news release from the Marion Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the initiative.

“We would like to recognize the work of our citizens who submitted over 3,000 ideas through the ImagiNEXT process,” said Jill Ackerman, Marion Chamber president. “Engaging the community in dreaming about what they want their place to be like is a valuable community development tool.”

A 23-member committee of volunteers has narrowed the suggestions to 25 ideas.

Now, the Chamber is asking residents to vote on the ideas, which will then be further narrowed by the committee to three to four final potential projects or initiatives.

Online voting for ImagiNEXT takes place from Feb. 19 to March 5 at marionimaginext.org/vote-here.

Ideas range from suggestions that will take one to two years to implement and those that take 10 years.

Some 1 to 2 year suggestions

-Preserving Marion’s historical buildings

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-Creating services for seniors, or a program that connects the senior population with younger residents

-Establishing a volunteer network

-Accepting WIC and SNAP at farmers markets

-Continuing expansion of the Marion Airport

Some 3 to 5-year suggestions

-Expanding the Uptown Artway or adding more public art

-Developing a community garden

-Adding more outdoor winter activities

-Adding more recreation amenities, such as a splash pad, rock climbing wall or aquatic center

-Creating youth and teen event programming

Some 6 to 8-year suggestions

-Building a dog park

-Designing city gateways or entrance signs

-Building a railroad-themed city park along the old railroad

-Creating a performance space in City Square Park

-Offering a shuttle service to Kirkwood Community College

Some 10-year suggestions

-Transforming the existing viaduct on Seventh Avenue into a gateway feature

-Developing Uptown plaza for year-round gathering space

-Building a man-made lake for recreation

-Installing wetlands near Indian Creek to manage flooding and create a green space

-Bringing a higher education opportunity to Marion

l Comments: (319) 368-8516; makayla.tendall@thegazette.com

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