MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 5/24/19
The results of the public engagement study for Enrich Marietta were released Thursday.
Marietta Main Street. is partnering with the city on a long-term plant to improve downtown with public and private investment projects.
The first round of public engagement is over and officials say they received over 1,000 responses. Main Street director Sam Tuten says they received over 800 responses from an online survey. They also heard from the public at First Friday and downtown events as well as at community meetings and Marietta College's Winter Weekend in February.
Some of the biggest takeaways were people value the downtown as a high priority for the local economy and people want to see the riverfront enhanced for more access and enjoyment.
"It is our hub, our heart," Tuten said. "You know, the city was founded not too far from where we're standing, from those rivers, so that's our character, that's our culture and where our local economy you know is."
"Spaces like downtown drive communities together. It also drives as that hub for what people can do."
People also added they would like to see more connection between Front street and the Harmar side, more events centered around the downtown, more restaurants and food options downtown and longer store hours.
You can read the full report by clicking on the report under related links (top right of your page for desktops; bottom of the page for mobile).
ORIGINAL STORY 1/30/19
The city of Marietta and Marietta Main Street are working on a development initiative for the downtown.
The collective project, Enrich Marietta, is launching a campaign to gather public input for future development of the downtown. This could include recommendations for new businesses, ideas for utilizing the river front, parking solutions or ADA accessibility upgrades.
Organizers say it's important the community is a part of shaping the downtown for years to come.
"Every city, every community should have a plan, should have some kind of guidance toward what they want to see in the coming years," Main Street executive director Sam Tuten said, "so for us as Marietta Main Street, we're an arm and helping hand to the city of Marietta."
"We're going to be able to take in their responses and be able to tell what they're doing in the downtown," city development director Andy Coleman said, "what the activities that they're participating in the downtown are, what they're looking for in the downtown and what they see as the priority needs for the downtown."
Main Street will be hosting the first public engagement meetings Friday during its First Friday event downtown at Jeremiah's Coffee House and Marietta Brewery. Residents will be able to ask questions and fill out a survey on the initiative.