Jones resigns from Marion eco-devo role

Terry Jones, the city of Marion?s economic development director, resigned his position Nov. 4 in a letter to Mayor Todd Heitschmidt and City Administrator Roger Holter.

In the letter, Jones stated he had accepted a job as community development director in McPherson with his last day in Marion Nov. 13.

?Marion is a great community, and I hope my efforts (as economic develop?ment director) have contributed in helping the community,? Jones said Monday

Heitschmidt said the new job is a great opportunity for Jones in his professional career path.

?I am very appreciative of Terry?s efforts and accomplishments in economic development and zoning work,? he said. ?Terry has a passion for the things he loves to do and I have enjoyed working with Terry and wish him success in his new position.?

Some of those larger accomplishments, Jones said, included an apartments projects in the Bown-Corby building, which once served as the elementary and more recently as Butler Community College?s Marion campus, and bring a Dollar General store to Marion.

?A lot of people are emotionally invested in the Bown-Corby building,? Heitschmidt said.

After BCC vacated the building in August 2014, the city began searching for a buyer or another use for it.

?We not only saved the building, but we are getting a need filled in the community with more apartments,? he said.

Dollar General, which was in the works for quite some time, Jones said, will be completed in December.

?Time-wise, a lot of work went into this project,? he said.

Even though most of his time was spent as the city?s economic development, Jones was also served as zoning administrator.

In that position, Jones said he looked at updating building codes and zoning regulations to ensure consistency.

Jones said he also sees a lot of potential in developing U.S. Highway 56.

?If Father Kapaun becomes a saint, developing the highway for people traveling to Pilsen would be a positive step (for Marion),? Jones said. ?More than 5,000 vehicles pass by Marion every day, and very few of those stop here.?

Another area Jones said he?s been working on is bringing programs to Marion to help existing businesses grow and expand.

Network Kansas, along with entrepreneurship classes for rural businesses, were a few of those programs.

Holter said the city of Marion appreciated the contributions Jones made during his 18-month tenure.

?We wish (Jones) continued success in his future endeavors and career,? he said.

Holter also said Marion?s approach to economic development has been a collaborative effort from many dedicated organizations and individuals.

The city council members were expected to discuss and develop the plan for recruitment and hiring in a manner consistent with the values and priorities of Marion at the Nov. 9 meeting.

Jones said his new position will be more on the planning and zoning side, and working more hand-in- hand with developers.

?Marion is going the right direction,? Jones said. ?The majority of our businesses are strong and we are adding new ones, which is a great environment.?

?It is an understatement to say that I am very appreciative of the opportunities and all that I have learned during my time here,? he added.

Jones and wife Chelsi have two sons, Dawson, 3, and Easton, 1.

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