I was somewhat surprised and disappointed when the county planning commission turned down the proposed development of cabins at Marion County Lake.
I don’t blame the commission members; they were following the county’s regulations based on state statute. It made me realize that development — or the lack thereof — isn’t just a city or county problem. It’s the attitude of the entire state.
We had four young investors, wanting to build a nest egg in their home community; so when they were ready to come home, they would have something to come home to. We’re constantly talking about the importance of bringing back our best and our brightest; well here was a chance and we couldn’t make it happen.
Maybe the plan had flaws but what bothers me is the ones who may have had the most influence on the planning commission are those who have the least to lose.
We all become pretty complacent in our own little worlds. Heaven forbid if someone wants to change it, maybe for the better.
There are many terms used in economic development. One is “if you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward.”
It used to be maintaining the status quo was sufficient. But now that isn’t good enough because there is no such thing as the status quo. There is constant change and if Marion County isn’t prepared to make those changes, we’re going to keep going backward.
We’ve passed the sales tax for a new jail, so let’s get some visitors in here to help us pay for it.
Weekend visitors and vacationers at Marion County Park and Lake are sustaining Marion’s economy, and in turn, the county’s revenue. We need to find more ways to promote the lake and the reservoir to sustain us.
The cabins would have been an incredible addition. Numerous lakes in the state offer similar accommodations. Why can’t we?
There are those who prefer camping, those who want to stay at a bed and breakfast or motel, and those who want something different — something at the lake but not necessarily the hassle of camping or the expense of pulling a camper.
Marion County could be a destination for seminars, retreats, and reunions. We have many of the amenities organizations and families want for their events. Cabins at the lake could have been that one more thing to draw people here.
Our cities and county need to become more development friendly. We need to adjust our rules and regulations that will allow more activity.
If we don’t, there won’t be any reason for any of us to work and live here because there won’t be any businesses or visitors.
Send me your ideas. Let me know what you think. We’re all in this together. We’re either going to succeed together or fail together.
— susan berg