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Monday, September 27, 2021

Should the county create a Marion County Government Center to replace aging buildings?

The county hopes to determine the feasibility of creating a Marion County Government Center, according to a newly released report.

The Marion County Administrative Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 shows the county’s plans for future growth and development across the area. Included in the 118-page document is a section regarding the potential creation of a center to house multiple Marion County governmental departments that currently operate separately in older buildings.

“After prioritizing the buildings in need of rehabilitation and identifying the anticipated costs, it may prove to be more feasible and efficient for both the public and county services to construct a centralized facility rather than to keep maintaining separate structures,” read the draft of the plan.

According to the plan, there are a total of 18 buildings valued at over $28 million that encompass over 233,000 square feet. The plan indicates that about 15 of those buildings are at least 40 to 50 years old. The list of buildings includes the Marion County Fire Rescue Headquarters, the Marion County Growth Management Office, and the Marion County Parks and Recreation Office, to name a few.

The plan also shows a rendering of what a proposed center might look like. The concept consists of two 3-story buildings totaling 200,000 square feet. The buildings would be connected by a walkway.

Do you believe the county should create a Marion County Government Center to replace aging buildings? Share your thoughts with us in a letter to the editor.