Seniors share visions for Marion
One of the best things about Marion is its small-town feeling, city council member Jerry Kline told a strategic planning facilitator at a focus group meeting Tuesday at Marion Senior Center.
“A lot of people know me, and I know them,” Kline said. “You care about them more than in a big city.”
Andrew Miles of the Public Policy and Management Center with Wichita State University, was at the senior center to help develop a strategic plan, which the university hopes to present by May.
One of the best things about the community is its hospital, one senior said.
Seniors also had concerns.
“No one wants to run a restaurant,” one said.
“We need jobs,” Kline said. “It used to be we had lots of jobs because it was agriculture.”
Kline mentioned a former alfalfa plant and chicken processing business.
The community needs new businesses that will help graduates want to return, he said.
Miles asked what things would make people want to live in Marion.
Gene Winkler said there wasn’t any reason for graduates to return. Poor Internet service discourages people with remote jobs from moving back, he said.
Several people agreed when Winkler said clothing and shoe stores would help.
Another senior said more housing for retirees would be helpful.
“I’d like to see the landlords improve their property,” she said.
Looking five years down the road, Kline said he’d like to see development in the valley portion of town.
Winkler said he’d like to see wind farm workers settle in and become permanent residents.
“I just hope this town is still here five years down the road,” Kline said.