Marianna leader looks back at 2021, forward to 2022

The city of Marianna has some of the greatest employees in the state of Florida and they have done an outstanding job at making Marianna a wonderful place to live and a great place to do business.

It is that time of year when we start thinking about just what have we accomplished this past year and what are our goals for 2022. The following is a summary by department, for 2021 and 2022:

RecreationIn 2021 the city hosted Dixie Youth State Tournament where over 225 youth participated from around the State of Florida

Softball: The Angles Division won both district and state championships and advanced to play in Dixie Softball World Series, finishing fifth.

The city recreation soccer program offered two seasons in 2021 and there were nearly 600 boys and girls that participated.

The city hosted 14 TBUSA baseball tournaments and 8 USSSA softball tournaments this past year, for a total of 22. These events will have anywhere from 25 to 45 teams, each team has 10 to 12 children and each child brings three or more adults to Jackson County to stay overnight and purchase goods and services in Jackson County, including lodging for overnight stay.

The Fourth of July fireworks were hosted at the MERE and it was a huge success bringing hundreds there for the event.

With the help of the Optimist Club the city has a new electronic sign out by Caverns Road to display current events, and recreation information.

Recreation plans for 2022 include:

The city plans to host 14 TBUSA baseball tournaments and 12 USSSA softball tournaments, host AAA Ozone State Tournament, make improvements to bathrooms and improve lighting on smaller fields at the MERE, improve playground equipment, and work towards having irrigation at all fields under the Recreation Department.

Public WorksReconstruction of a section of Old Cottondale Road began in 2021 (and will continue well into 2022.) The project involves a new eight-inch water main, storm water drainage improvements, resurfacing of roadway, and new sidewalk from Orange Street to Penn Avenue.

Construction is under way for expansion and improvements to the city’s Waste Water Treatment Plant and will continue thru 2022, improvements will allow the city to accept additional tankered waste such as leachate and septic waste, and allow for more advanced treatment. The project should be complete in 2022.

The city completed the self-service fueling system at the Marianna Airport Commerce Park, allowing aviation community additional services and reduced fueling prices. In addition, the city was successful at entering into a Military/U.S. government fuel contract.

In addition at Marianna Airport Commerce Park, the city completed the reconstruction and resurfacing of the north portion of Industrial Park.

Multiple street resurfacing projects were completed within the city in 2021, including Green, Booker, Gilmore, Wilton, Kynes, Dial, Pearl and Pierce streets, as well as Woodbrook Drive and River Road.

At the Hinson Conservation Park the city has now cleared all walking/biking trails along with replacing major portions of the fencing.

The city completed a CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization project which funded upgrades to and relocation of the lift station behind Lewis and Smith out of a flood zone, as well as the resurfacing of a portion of Edenfield Street and reconstruction and paving West Evelyn Street.

Public Works plans for 2022 include:

Sidewalk improvements throughout the city.

Continued street paving.

.At Marianna Airport Commerce Park, the airport ramp rehabilitation project will be started.

The city will begin construction of utilities for Mashburn Road and paving of Mashburn in conjunction with the construction of Project Blue Sky.

With funding from the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the city will be able to provide sewer to Tara Estates. This will eliminate all Tara Estates septic tanks located in the Chipola River Basin.

Funding has been obtained from FDOT to resurface all of 4th Street, which will include upgrading water utilities from Kelson to 9th Avenue.

Marianna leader looks back at 2021, forward to 2022

The city received Rural Infrastructure Funds from the Department of Economic Opportunity to upgrade and replace the water main on Old Cottondale Road from Penn Avenue west to Tri-States Automotive. This will improve and provide fire flow for the nearby warehouse.

The renovation of Jennings Park will be started. The project involves a new pavilion, bathrooms, walking trail, renovation of baseball field and sports activity field.

Main StreetMain Street Marianna began a new tradition for the city, “Shamrock Shenanigans,” in 2021. It includes a fun run and festival. “The Race for the Rest of Us” was the slogan. The event is set for March 12 in 2022.

Main Street held the annual July fireworks celebration, and it was well attended by hundreds of people from Jackson County and surrounding counties. There were vendors, games, live entertainment and many activities.

Pumpkins in the Park was held at Madison Street Park, with a pumpkin patch for families in the middle of downtown. Roughly 1,200 pumpkins were given to children in the community. Main Street Marianna partnered with the Marianna Farmer’s Market for this event.

To finish out the year, MSM held the “Christmas in Candyland” parade and festival. It had a record-setting turnout, with thousands of residents from across the county attending. The organization purchased new Christmas lights and décor for the city that will be displayed throughout town in 2022.

Municipal Development – Planning/Zoning

In 2021 the city funded and developed the West End Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) to address and eliminate blight on the West End. After an extensive legal and planning process the CRA is now in place and efforts are being made to redevelop the West End.

In conjunction with FEMA and property owners the city helped facilitate the removal of 53 dilapidated structures throughout the city of Marianna at a cost of over $1 million.

In 2021 the city issued over 160 development orders and issues more than 480 building permits for multiple types of development.

A Redistricting Committee was established for the city to address whether there was a need to redraw or adjust current districts within the city of Marianna. Results will be presented at the city’s January 2022 regular monthly meeting.

Department leadership met with consultants and staff to apply for and obtain grant funding for improvements, including funding from the U.S. and Florida Forestry to begin the replanting the tree canopy in the city.

Municipal Development Plans for 2022:

It is the goal for 2022 to have a majority of all documents and future business be nearly 100 percent digital by the end of 2022.

It is the goal of Municipal Development to update a number of codes within the city to include the establishment of a golf cart and scooter ordinance.

OtherThe city has received funding from FEMA under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to fund a backup generator for Marianna Health and Rehabilitation Center, provide upgrades to harden the city’s proposed new fire and police station, harden the city’s South Street public works facility, provide city-wide hardening for the strategic waste water locations, and improve the large storm water ditch along Kelson to include storm water retention. This approach will clean storm water prior to it emptying into the Chipola River.

Funding from the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery has been awarded to the city to address waste water problems throughout the city which are associated with Hurricane Michael. The funding package is in excess of $11.1 million.

Funding from the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Hometown Recovery has been awarded to the city to help with assistance to the businesses in Marianna and improve city-owned right of ways, to recover from Hurricane Michael. The funding package is in excess of $7.3 million.

Additional DEO funding has been provided to Marianna in excess of $500,000 to complete Site Certifications and preparing planning documents for future growth in the community

The city has secured funding from USDA, State Legislature and FEMA to begin the construction and replacement of a new fire station and police department, with total funding in excess of $6 million.

The Marianna Police Department is still in the process of converting its fleet of vehicles to utilize Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). At this time approximately 85 percent of city vehicles are running on CNG. This has proven to a big savings in the use of gasoline, and five new vehicles were acquired during the year.

The police department is in the finishing stages to transitioning its reporting software to be in compliant with the FBI and FDLE new crime date requirement.

In the coming weeks the police department will be relocating temporarily to what will be the old city hall once the current occupants relocate to their new offices on Jefferson Street.

This the plan for the police department until a new facility can be constructed to house both the police and fire departments. This facility is planned to be constructed within the block between Jefferson and Green Streets. City leaders are excited about and looking forward to the new facility and in the meantime asking for the public’s patience and understanding during these transitions.

In the first couple of weeks of 2022 the clerk’s office, municipal development, public works administration, and the city manager’s office will move into its new location on Jefferson Street.

The Marianna Fire Department added a first responder unit pickup, which allows the crew to respond to EMS calls more efficiently rather than driving a fire truck.

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