In the very early 1860’s to 1970’s, city improvements came slowly to Marion. Crude bridges were built and roads laid out. The sidewalks were the first to be classified as city improvements.
Sidewalks were constructed in Marion in 1877. Twelve years later the streets were covered with twelve inches of crushed rock. “The crown of the street was 12 inches above the gutter.” The curb and gutter were made of large limestone slabs. Cross walks were of large limestone slabs. Rock for the project was taken from nearby quarries. After these initial beginnings, the improvement of city streets was gradual and constant as the city expanded.
Today the streets are mostly paved with some original brick streets still intact, such as Elm Street. Constant street improvements and maintenance are completed by our Street Department which consists of 4 full time employees and a Street Superintendent.
Existing streets that are not concrete or asphalt paved and do not have adequate drainage can be upgraded by means of a petition of the property owners adjacent to the street to be upgraded. A single property owner can propose a petition to the other property owners and submit the results to City Hall for consideration. The petition must have a majority vote in favor of an upgrade. The project is put on a list and will be completed on a first come first serve basis as funds become available. The City funds the cost of the project and reimbursement to the city is accomplished by adding the cost per resident to their tax roll for a 10 year period with interest. Any resident may choose to pay a lump sum for their portion of the upgrade. Street size standards are the same as a new subdivision unless the existing upgraded street is of a different width. The city maintains the street after it is installed.
If a developer constructs a new subdivision then the developer is responsible for constructing a new street with adequate drainage including curb, gutter, storm sewer and drains if necessary according to the current Subdivision Regulations. The cost of the street construction can be reimbursed with the sale of each lot. The City of Marion will maintain the street after the project is completed. Maintenance such as sealing, curb replacement and snow removal are examples. Street size standards are 24 foot wide pavement and 2.5 foot wide high or low back curb.
To encourage the safety of its citizens and the beautification of its residential neighborhoods, the City established a program to reimburse the cost of concrete materials for the construction of sidewalks under a pre-approved plan. By January 1 of each year, the City Commission may approve an amount in the City budget that may be used for the reimbursement of the cost of concrete materials, with certain guidelines, for citizens that build new sidewalks or replace or repair existing ones. Funds will be disbursed on a "first come, first served" basis according to the City plan. Applications are available in online documents library.