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  • Last modified 148 days ago (June 19, 2019)

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Visitors say Main St. upgrades add to city

Staff writer

Main St.’s new benches were installed less than a month ago, but city administrator Roger Holter is already pleased with the results of the project.

“I’ve been impressed with the number of people I’ve seen walking through downtown or using Central Park,” he said. “That makes this project worthwhile.”

The benches are already making an impression on visitors to Marion, like Nevada residents Leona and Bill Kochenmeister.

“It’s great to have these benches and it builds character in the downtown,” Bill said. “You need music in the street, things that are going to keep people downtown and away from Walmart.”

Two local families have also approached Holter about sponsoring Main St. benches as memorials for family members, he said. Inset plaques on the benches would be embossed with a loved-one’s name.

The new light poles and garbage cans were chosen to match the benches, as will planters to be installed in the future.

“This project wasn’t just intended for putting in new sidewalks and lighting,” he said. “Sidewalks are now deeper. We want an environment that is a more leisurely strolling, shopping environment.”

The accessibility of the benches worked well for the Kochenmeisters because it gave Bill a comfortable place to wait for Leona.

“The benches are great,” he said. “I don’t shop but she does, so I can sit down and relax without having to trail her around the store.”

While any financial advantages are a bonus, the main benefit is getting residents into the community and building relationships, Holter said.

New benches are not the only fresh take benefiting from Main St. updates.

Businesses on the drag have become more wheelchair friendly with entrance ramps up to standard for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We’re trying to create that environment where people will be proud of their downtown and be more inclined to enjoy it,” Holter said.

Last modified June 19, 2019

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