MARVIN – Bringing a sense of community to the area was the focus for leaders in Marvin this year, with the completion of projects such as the community gardens, extension of the greenways, community events and more making a change for the better for area residents, officials say.
Marvin-Efird Park saw a new addition in July, when the village decided to create a community garden for residents. The gardens, along with more events held in the park, brought residents together who otherwise wouldn’t have met, Councilman Lanny Openshaw said, which has helped improve the lack of a sense of community in Marvin.
“We grew so fast that we didn’t have the normal evolution of social groups,” Openshaw said. “(With these projects we are) meeting needs to bring together people from different parts of the community, like the community garden. That was so tremendous because we have the park and the community garden.”
These improvements are only the start of what leaders in Marvin hope to accomplish in the future. The village population grew so fast that town council didn’t have time to plan, but councilmembers are taking time now to work through the unified development ordinances and to put a plan in place that will preserve the open and green space residents want.
According to the land-use survey completed this past year, 49 percent of people who responded said they want the village to focus on projects like greenways and sidewalks.
“Our survey said people moved here because they love the open space, so I would hate for us to lose that open space,” Councilman Ross Overby said.
In addition to greenways and improvements at Marvin-Efird Park, council has been planning for some road improvements, such as the lowering of the speed limit on Marvin School Road to 35 miles per hour after many residents complained of drivers speeding and passing stopped school buses.
The council created a traffic calming committee in early 2013 that recently presented its suggestions for improvements that could help lessen the speeding problems seen throughout the village. Councilmembers will have to look at the committee’s results when planning for future projects.
“One thing we have accomplished, but changes to Marvin School Road are in place. The plan to realign the road to Marvin Waxhaw (Road) is in place, the money to realign the road is in place,” Overby said. “… That intersection (for Bonds Grove Church and Marvin School roads) is worst in the region, it gets the worst score on (the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s) list.”
The village also will have to put a plan in place for acquiring new roads, with NCDOT’s recent announcement that it will no longer take over maintenance of new subdivision roads constructed in municipalities.
“One of the big things was NCDOT sticking the roads to the municipalities; that’s something the board will have to deal with this year. We do have Powell Bill money,” Openshaw said, referring to funds towns across the state can receive each year.
Councilman Overby also hopes to work with NCDOT to plan improvements for other roads and intersections. Many roads in Marvin were built when it was more rural, something Overby said doesn’t work with the amount of people living in the area now.
“We are no longer a small town,” he said. “We are an important community.”