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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Downtown Betterment Group reviews progress

Friday, November 5, 2010

Downtown Monett in the late afternoon light. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
The Monett Downtown Betterment Group met yesterday to act on bylaws and hear details about the latest effort to help Monett's downtown.

President Sharon Garrett called the board together to pass bylaw changes. Judge Mike Garrett had prepared changes in the original bylaws to make them more current and appropriate for the organization's current mission.

The Monett Downtown Betterment Group is a partner with the city and the Monett Chamber of Commerce in hiring the Main Street coordinator, DJ Miller. Board members have participated in Vision 2030 discussions as Miller has introduced the framework of the national Main Street program to Monett's effort.

Miller was present with City Administrator Dennis Pyle. Pyle reviewed the history of the city's application for the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) program and how Monett was accepted on the third try. DREAM representatives will be in Monett on Tuesday. Pyle invited the Downtown Betterment Group to attend the first session.

With Monett being accepted into the DREAM program, the ongoing committee meetings for the Main Street/Vision 2030 effort presented a potential overlapping of efforts. Last week, Miller wrote to the volunteers participating in the Main Street meetings to hold off on further meetings.

"Due to our inclusion in the DREAM program," Miller wrote, "we are going to suspend these similar planning efforts until we meet with DREAM representatives and coordinate the various planning work that has been accomplished to this point. We will keep you informed of future meetings."

Pyle said he spoke with officials in Cassville, another city accepted into the latest round of DREAM participants, who have also had a visit from the DREAM delegation. Pyle said Cassville provided a detailed overview of the town's history and its downtown dynamics.

Because Monett has already gone through the Vision 2030 process and has a plan to pursue, he expected Monett leaders to give a focused presentation to kick off the DREAM process. A program providing an overview for the public of how DREAM will work is expected at a later date.

Garrett expected DREAM would open doors for the city's downtown revitalization effort, directing city leaders toward funding and grant opportunities without providing direct money.

Downtown Betterment Group board members include: Garrett, Gale Huffmaster, Mike Brownsberger, Lisa Craft, Linda Sitton, Berneice Morris, Charles Rowell, Gale Bruner and Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry.

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