Think tank hopes to help Marlin turn back time - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

MARLIN

Think tank hopes to help Marlin turn back time

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MARLIN - A statewide think tank is offering its help to the city of Marlin to build up its local economy.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is looking into the city of Marlin to see if policy changes can turn things around. The city was a prosperous town in the early 1900's, but infrastructure and small businesses have faded away in recent years. However, because of its past, this free enterprise policy-driven foundation thinks they can make some changes.

"Marlin is really, has a lot of components to be successful but there are some policies that maybe have stood in the way of it being more successful and as successful as it could be," senior policy analyst Jess Fields said.

Marlin Mayor Elizabeth Nelson says they were pleasantly surprised whenever Fields and the foundation offered its help. She says with their resources, they can help the city in ways they can't themselves. That includes looking at a city charter with 500 pages of ordinances.

"I had printed out 500 pages of ordinances for the city of Marlin, some of which go back to 1895," Fields said.
 
"That will be a great help to us if they go through there, have their legal department go through there and look at it, that'll be a phenomenal help," Nelson said.
  
Fields and Nelson say one of those outdated ordinances allows anyone 18 and older to buy alcohol.

Fields also says a major focus will be infrastructure. He says fixing the water pipes and roads helps bring in small businesses. He also says tightening the budget to focus on infrastructure and not raising taxes could also help.

Nelson says with this help they could bring back the town similar to what it once was. That is a thriving community with a number of businesses scattered throughout the town.

"It can be restored, it may not look like that but it'll be restored to something different and that's what we're working on," Nelson said.

Nelson says one of the best parts, though, is the help is free. The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit organization.
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