Key to Marion's Success? Transportation!

by Joy C. Howe
Wednesday, March 11th 2015

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The road to Marion is paved with possibility. "Marion has spent many years, really I'd say the past decade, making strategic investments that are positioning the community to explode in new ways over the next several years," begins Nick Glew, Marion Economic Development Company's President.

That's the message 345 people heard Wednesday afternoon from the Marion Economic Development Company.

They're an investor-driven organization, which works to partner with investors in the business community, to keep the growth in Marion going.

What they heard here, is that we are producers, and 84 percent of exporters in Iowa are small and medium-sized businesses.

The group watched CBS 2 News'"Created in the Corridor" piece on Marion Process Solutions, just one of many examples of a company that shares its products globally.

Busy companies producing, leads to new jobs, and 150 new homes every year in Marion "And where our organization comes into play, is making sure our commercial and industrial growth keeps up with that, and we're really starting to see the momentum building," Glew says.

And one man says the reason behind the success of this particular spot? Geography.

"There's a lot of great highway and railway in this area.multiple railroads and beside the waterway - Mississippi River - it's not too far away," begins Paul Trombino, the Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Trombino says the key to our continued successful manufacturing is transportation.

"I think that's a key advantage, not only to help our businesses in the state, grow those businesses lower those transportation costs, and really improve the economic opportunity for them - and ultimately for the citizens and communities in our state," Trombino says.

Glew adds,"One of the reasons we asked him to be here today is because it's great how he looks at the transportation system as more than just a road that we drive on, or a pothole that we try to avoid, it's really the key component to how we drive our local and regional economy - it's moving goods."

Moving goods, and moving forward - looking down the road toward even more possibilities for Marion.

Later this week, the city of Marion will apply to be a "reinvestment district,"

This is a state program that allows the city to re-capture certain sales tax, which would go toward planned improvements- for example, like the plaza area planned for the city-square park.