Marion Streetscape meeting draws 50 people for feedback

About 50 people attended the Streetscape project meeting on Feb. 23, but many others attended the fundraising soup dinner beforehand in the Marion Community Center.

The PRIDE Committee hosted the soup supper with all donations going to the group’s revitalization efforts associated with the undertaking.

Darin Neufeld, professional engineer with EBH & Associates in Marion, met with the public to discuss the plan.

“The total project cost is $973,880 with KDOT paying $715,904 or 74 percent and the city share is $257,976,” he said.

“The city applied three times before it was awarded last April.”

Other features of the revitalization plan entail it running from First to Fifth streets with sidewalks being the same dimensions, plus ADA accessibility standards will apply to the sidewalks, intersections and publicly accessible buildings, he said.

The project will also have:

• new streetlights, four tall and two shorter per side in blocks with banner arms, flag holders and Christmas light holders.

• two new benches on each block and one trash receptacle per block.

• welcome sign and landscaping at First Street intersection.

• other landscaping at the city park and possibly at other locations.

• pedestrian protection zones on all four corners of each intersection to ensure safety.

• removal of city-owned overhead utilities.

• three-foot wide brick ribbon in sidewalk, and

• concrete crosswalks.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said on Monday that it was a great turnout for both the fundraiser and meeting.

One of the major concerns Heitschmidt noted would be businesses along the corridor wouldn’t have access to their buildings—some as long as three to four days.

But during the construction, Neufeld said, wooden planks would be used for customers to enter the front door of businesses affected.

“With progress comes some distress,” Heitschmidt said about the anticipated inconveniences.

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