Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rolla selected for 2009 DREAM Initiative by Misosuri Dept. of Economic Development

City officials in Rolla have a vision for its downtown: Make it the best place possible – a full-service, mixed-use destination that is known for its unique character, and is welcoming, safe and accessible for citizens and visitors of all ages.

They will get the chance to make that dream a reality. The City of Rolla is one of five Missouri communities selected by the Missouri Department of Economic Development to participate in the 2009 DREAM (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri) Initiative, a program designated to help communities to more efficiently and effectively engage in downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts.

Brookfield, California, New Haven, and Savannah were the other communities inducted during the fourth round of communities selected for the initiative. They were selected from a total of 16 applicants.

"Small towns are a vital part of our Missouri way of life, and they’re critical to our economic prosperity, said DED Interim director Katie Steele Danner. "Awarding DREAM Initiative status to these communities is evidence of DED’s continued commitment to working with communities to create new opportunities that will transform our state’s economy for the future. The DREAM Initiative is a successful tool DED can bring to the table to assist with these communities’ economic development efforts."

Rolla city officials will use the designation to:

  • Address the three primary downtown entrances, particularly the north entrance to the downtown area on Pine Street.
  • To obtain a better mix of retail, including those attractive to students.
  • improve/increase downtown nighttime activities.
  • Increase downtown marketing efforts.
  • Address downtown parking issues.
  • Improve downtown traffic flow.
  • Strengthen the Rolla Downtown Business Association.
  • Address street lighting problems.
"The City of Rolla is thrilled beyond words to be selected as a 2009 DREAM community in Missouri," said Mayor Bill Jenks. "The Rolla City Council and Rolla community are 100 percent committed to the continued revitalization of our historic downtown area."

The DREAM Initiative’s goal is to provide Missouri’s small and mid-sized towns the same access to economic development tools as larger communities. Selected communities become active members of the DREAM Initiative for three-years and gain prioritized access to state supported programs through ongoing cooperation among several unique agencies and funding sources. Programs include technical and financial assistance for infrastructure improvements, historic preservation, affordable housing, community services, business development and job creation.

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. In addition, all 16 applicants will benefit from the initiative as well. They will receive:
  • technical assistance
  • exclusive invitations to a series of revitalization training opportunities and seminars
  • the chance to learn about existing redevelopment programs, how they work and how to best access available tools
Applications were evaluated by representatives from the three DREAM Initiative partners, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Development Finance Board and the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The evaluation process included confirming applications were complete and attention to community capacity, vision, opportunity for private investment, broad community support and a comprehensive approach.

Previously, Aurora, Boonville, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Chillicothe, Clinton, Excelsior Springs, Farmington, Fulton, Hannibal, Hermann, Kennett, Kirksville, Lamar, Lebanon, Louisiana, Macon, Maryville, Mexico, Neosho, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, St. Joseph, Sedalia, Strafford, Trenton, Warrensburg, Washington, Webb City and West Plains were named DREAM communities. Together, they have received more than $168 million in state financial assistance to rebuild, revitalize, and rejuvenate their downtowns.

1 comment:

Angie Dawn said...

Please everyone, sign the petition to save the Uptown Theatre!

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/uptown41/petition.htm

Time is tight!