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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monett's DREAM for downtown is not funded

Friday, October 23, 2009

Broadway Street in Monett. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
For the second consecutive year, Monett's application for the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative has been turned down. The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) this week announced that five Missouri communities have been selected to participate in the 2009 DREAM program and none of those cities are located in southwest Missouri.

California and Rolla, all in central Missouri, New Haven and Brookfield in northeast Missouri, and Savannah in northwest Missouri were all named as DREAM cities out of the 16 applications that were received.

Previously, Aurora, Lamar, Lebanon, Neosho and Webb City had been named to the program, which is focused on downtown revitalization.

Monett City Administrator Dennis Pyle said it was understandable that southwest Missouri would receive less consideration in this year's selection process. Ash Grove and Cassville had also applied for the program this year.

"We believe we had a stong application, which took into consideration the Vision 2030 process that we had begun and worked on with the assistance of Drury University," Pyle said. "We're disappointed that we didn't get DREAM funding this year, but we will continue with the visioning process and continue to work toward the revitalization of downtown Monett."

The DREAM Initiative supports a comprehensive approach to concentrate resources and available tools to allow communities to accomplish their broad-based and long term revitalization and redevelopment goals more quickly than ever before.

"Awarding DREAM Initiative status to these communities demonstrates the Missouri Department of Economic Development's continued commitment to working with communities to create new opportunities that will transform our state's economy for the future," said DED Interim director Katie Steele Danner. "The DREAM Initiative is a successful tool DED can bring to the table to assist with local economic development efforts throughout Missouri."

According to University of Missouri Extension specialist Jeff Barber, who has provided technical assistance for the Vision 2030 effort, DREAM would have put Monett at "the front of the line" when going to programs for assistance. Pyle said Monett will continue forging forward to find an approach that works for the community's future.

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