Jackson County, Marianna, and citizens came together in Marianna Monday night at Madison Street Park for a ceremony. The ceremony was a pledge between the City of Marianna, Jackson County and its citizens to their commitment to the development of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor on the west end of town. The meeting was a kickoff of a week-long project that will culminate Thursday night with both city and county commissioners holding a joint meeting at the Ag Center on Penn Avenue. At that time, they will present their ideas to the public for the revitalization of the West End area.
The crowd of over 650 people exchanged ideas with each other, talked about the past and most of all the future of the west end of Marianna.
Olivia Clemmons is a west end resident in Marianna, “I live in the west end area and I’m excited about what might be happening in our community.” Food was in ample supply along with a host of ideas for young and old alike.
This project came about as a result of a grant received by the City of Marianna. They had applied to the American Planning Association and they sent a team to Marianna and they will participate in public hearings, listen to ideas from the community as well as input ideas.
City Manager Jim Dean said, “Bring them here, don’t try to influence their thought process let them think for themselves and use their portfolio of experiences to kind of give us some direction on what they think we could do for this area.”
The APA team will participate in public hearing meetings, view surveys from the citizens of Marianna, as well as tour the area for a better grasp of the demographics.”
Ellen Heath, APA team leader said, “Our goal really is to figure out how to revitalize and reenergize Penn Avenue. What kind of businesses to attract, how to attract them, how it can be beautified, make the traffic flow better.”
Heath says she is looking forward to Thursday night to present the different ideas at a public meeting. The public meeting will be held Thursday at the Ag Center on Penn Avenue at 6 p.m. Both city and county officials invited everyone to attend the meeting and hear the ideas of the American Planning Association.