After months of collaboration, the City of Marion has released an online map for the public to better access the history of blight elimination. The map is now accessible on the City website from the Building Department page (cityofmarion.in.gov/building) showing an archive of demolished properties from 2016 – 2022.
One may see the accomplishments by walking the streets, but the intent with presenting it in an online ‘bird’s eye’ format is to create a simpler way to access it, to better educate what local government is doing for its citizens with regards to blight elimination.
The map was compiled by Neighborhood Association Coordinator Kayla Johnson with help from IWU students using data provided by the Building, Planning, and Community Development & Marketing Departments. It is the first phase of more maps to come, but blight elimination through demolition was the first priority.
Johnson explained, “In talks with neighbors, many express that, ‘the City is doing nothing in my neighborhood.’ The hope with the map is to make the data easily accessible to have more informed, data-driven conversations.”
Phase 2 will include a live map set to unveil in November which will be updated consistently. Additional information on the phase 2 map will include streets paved, city lots sold, structures approved for demo, and notes on properties as they move through City Court. Johnson said the phase 2 map will show what has been accomplished lately in each neighborhood. “When it is not right next door, it can feel like nothing is getting accomplished, when in reality, accomplishments are happening daily.”
Johnson added, “The feelings expressed are completely understandable when a concern takes time to move through the system. It’s a good thing that solutions take time; otherwise the city would be exercising too much power. The system allows a legal process in which rights are respected and maintained while ordinances may also be respected and maintained. Together, we are all aiming to build and maintain safe, welcoming neighborhoods.”