Marianna officials working to redevelop west end of the city

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In Marianna, city officials are brainstorming ways to redevelop certain parts of the city.

One area has drastically changed over the years, causing a large decline in business population.

Officials said they aren’t giving up on the area, instead they’re working to figure out the best way to get it back up to speed.

For several years, the city of Marianna has struggled with how they will redevelop the west end of the town.

Now, officials are discussing the possibility of establishing a Community Redevelopment Area.

“On the west end there are significant blighted areas in that area that the commission feels like needs to be addressed,” said Jim Dean, city manager.

The way it works is, an increase in ad valorem taxes is issued, then money generated from those taxes is put into a trust fund to be used for things like improving the look of the area and existing infrastructure within the CRA.

“You designate that area, the incremental tax increase, the ad valorem taxes, you ensure that those dollars go back into your area where you want these improvements to happen,” Dean said.

Dean said the biggest issue is determining what will be included in that area.

So far, the city has never established a CRA for the west end because of the cost.

“The process is kind of pricey,” Dean said. “That was the initial struggle we had before, was getting over the cost to establish the CRA versus the return on that investment.”

The city of Marianna currently has a CRA in place in the downtown area that generates between $120 and $140 thousand a year.

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