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Editorial: Jackson's DREAM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The city of Jackson was recently named a DREAM city by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

DREAM, an acronym for Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri, gives designated cities prioritized access to state-supported programs. These include technical and financial assistance for infrastructure improvements, historic preservation, affordable housing, community services, business development and job creation.

Cape Girardeau community leaders who have been involved in the DREAM process say one of the biggest benefits of the designation is the access to urban planners. The planners meet with community leaders to help the city develop a strategic plan. Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape, said the strategic plan is what opens doors to outside funding. Several Cape Girardeau projects have been funded with the $2.5 million in funding directly attributed to the opportunities DREAM provided.

Benefits that come with being named a DREAM city include access to low interest loans, matching funds and grants.

Jackson is planning to address traffic improvements, additional parking spaces and an expansion of the city's historic uptown. They also hope to enhance the city's streetscape along High Street.

Congratulations to Jackson on the DREAM designation.


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