The Marion PRIDE committee’s second survey report revealed attitudes about Marion entrances that are more negative than those regarding the park.
“A majority of responses revealed comments such as disaster, terrible, awful, junky, ugly and lack of ownership,” PRIDE member Sally Hannaford wrote. “One comment indicated, ‘What you see when you enter a town, often sets one’s opinion of the town.’”
The entrances include the eastern entrance on KS 256 from U.S. 77, the northern entrances on Eisenhower and Cedar from U.S. 56, the western entrance west on KS 256 from Hillsboro, and the southern entrance on Sunflower Road from U.S. 50.
Improving the entrances for Marion will be more difficult than the park because all the different directional entrances involve private property. While survey participants wanted incentives to be given to residents to paint, clean, trim trees, and repair entrance properties it would still be completely up to those owners to comply.
One survey suggestion seems doable Hannaford said — putting up more welcoming signs. She said the PRIDE committee has started conversations with Central National Bank president Todd Heitschmidt and Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin about adding new signs.
“We’ve definitely added quite a few,” Hannaford said of recent sign development.
Another consistent complaint was lighting at each entrance. Hannaford said she has had experience with the lighting issue.
“It will take something major to get that done,” Hannaford said. “I’ve been on that committee one time before.”
The proposed improvements have one thing in common with those regarding Central Park: the biggest investment required to make them a reality is not funds but time and involvement of Marion citizens.