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Monett Main Street plans major meeting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monett's Main Street program, continuing in conjunction with the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative, will have a major meeting on Jan. 26 to discuss a work plan for the year.

Members of all the committees formed under the Main Street program will meet at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the chamber's community meeting room at 200 E. Broadway, off the Second Street entrance. Anyone interested in downtown Monett is welcome.

Jeanine Rann with the Missouri Main Street Connection will make a presentation on the Main Street Four-Point Approach to downtown revitalization to help in the selection of goals and priorities for the year.

Each of the four committees, which include organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, will meet. Each committee will develop their 2012 work plan.

"By the end of the evening, we should have our priorities established and a budget for Monett Main Street," said City Administrator Dennis Pyle.

Since the last Main Street meetings, Olsson and Associates has completed its downtown flood evaluation, including three main alternatives. Pyle said the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is reviewing the study to determine if modifications to the bridge over Kelly Creek will be permitted. Widening of the water flow under the bridge is critical to the flood plan.

The city spent $35,000 on the Olsson study, of which $10,000 will be reimbursed by the DREAM Initiative.

Drury University has also revealed plans to develop the former Jumping-Jacks factory downtown into a new college campus. The project has city support.

The city has applied for and received a grant through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Brownfield Cleanup Program. The grant paid for a Phase I Environmental Assessment of the former shoe factory and issued a report detailing its findings.

The study found that a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment could be performed with testing of soil and groundwater as part of a more detailed evaluation. Pyle said grant funds should be available to defray the cost if a cleanup of the property is recommended.

City officials have continued to meet with Drury's project architect and other community partners, including Barry-Lawrence Regional Library leaders, who would benefit from developing a Drury campus in the downtown location. Pyle said city leaders recognize the long-term benefits a Drury campus could offer Monett.

Monett Main Street represents a partnership between the city, the Monett Downtown Betterment Committee and the chamber.

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