Community DREAM Building and Streetscape Guidelines Complete
The building and streetscape design guidelines have been completed for downtown Chillicothe. They were established in as a part of the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.
An open forum to discuss the building and streetscape design guidelines will be this Wednesday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the second floor board room of the Chillicothe Commerce Center. Chillicothe was one of 10 communities chosen for this new program.
Building and streetscape design guidelines are used by the city to determine appropriate public infrastructure and private development and redevelopment within a prescribed area to assure common visual attributes. These can include guidelines that establish period lighting, benches, planters and arrangements, brick inlays, parking alignment, and sidewalk design, etc. For the private properties, the building design assures that construction and rehabilitation work is done in a manner consistent with the area as a whole.
Downtown Homes to be Rehabilitated
Thanks to Chillicothe’s status as a Missouri DREAM community, some Chillicothe homes in the downtown district will receive some much needed assistance. Green Hills Community Action Agency has been awarded $110,000 to be spent on the rehabilitation of homes in the City of Chillicothe’s DREAM (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri) program. The grant is to be used for up to five Chillicothe homes in the specified district.
The funds are for rehabilitation projects on owner-occupied homes within the designated area of Chillicothe’s DREAM program. Eligible homes must be within a perimeter of the downtown bordered by Polk Street on the north, Clay Street on the south, Woodward Street on the east and Dickinson Street on the west. The funds will be available April 1 and will be spent on projects that make homes safer and more habitable, said Marvin Meeker, GHCAA rehabilitation/weatherization director.
Homeowners who meet the state designated requirements and are interested in applying for rehabilitation funds are encouraged to contact the Main Street Chillicothe office at 660-646-4071.
$110,000 for City to Rehabilitate Homes Through DREAM
Green Hills Community Action Agency has been awarded $110,000 to be spent on the rehabilitation of homes in the City of Chillicothe’s DREAM (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri) Program. Funding for the project was approved last week by the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The money will be available April 1 and will be spent on projects that make homes safer and more habitable, said Marvin Meeker, GHCAA weatherization/rehabilitation director. The funds are for rehabilitation projects on owner-occupied homes within the designated area of Chillicothe’s DREAM Program. In addition, homeowners must meet income guidelines.
“GHCAA looks forward to partnering with the city of Chillicothe and Main Street Chillicothe on the DREAM Project in this effort to make Chillicothe a better and safer place to live,” said GHCAA Executive Director Scott Long. “The DREAM Program fits GHCAA’s mission of working through partnerships to empower individuals and families with the knowledge, skills and motivations needed to build strong families and communities.”
The Missouri Housing Development Commission also awarded GHCAA $110,000 in rehabilitation funds to be spent through the City of Trenton’s DREAM Program and $66,000 for the rehabilitation of other homes in the nine counties served by the agency.
Homeowners interested in applying for rehabilitation funds are encouraged to watch local media outlets around the first of February 2009 for application information. The application called for the grant to be used for up to five homes. Eligible homes must be within a perimeter of downtown bordered by Polk Street on the north, Clay Street on the south, Woodward Street on the east and Dickinson Street on the west.
Dream Team Kicks Off Revitalization Project
The city of Chillicothe and Main Street Chillicothe, along with DREAM team representatives kicked off the DREAM Initiative for downtown Chillicothe with an inaugural celebration Monday night at the Livingston County Library. Patrick Hanlon, representative of GAV Urban Consultants, began the presentation by explaining that the DREAM Initiative provides select communities access to technical and financial support. The initiative targets communities like Chillicothe that are taking a comprehensive approach in downtown revitalization. He went on to say that the investment and community support in Chillicothe already exists.
Kim Martin, representing Missouri Development Finance Board, was also present and will act as a bridge between all parties in the downtown revitalization project. Mark Kiesling, Missouri Department of Economic Development, stated that DED's goal was to develop a long-term relationship through the DREAM project. He also spoke about a revolving loan fund that will help with the cost of improvement projects. He stated that one of DED's main goals was to preserve the historical architecture and feel of downtown Chillicothe.
Rachel Davis, Missouri Housing Development Commission, talked about the programs offered in order for revitalization plans to progress. HeRO, home repair opportunity is one of those programs. It looks at the demographics of an area to better access what changes need to be made. She also stated that Chillicothe's housing study will take place in June or July of this year and will take around five weeks to complete. She also spoke about the Home Repairs Program, which is a grant that gives homeowners in the demographic area $20,000 to bring their homes up to city code. First Place Loan Program will be available for first time homebuyers, in which 3 percent of the value of the home is given to owners to beautify their home. A trust fund program will be set aside for non-for-profit organizations to help with homelessness and low-income.
The panel addressed questions from the crowd dealing with the issue of parking, which was identified as a major concern in the downtown area. Questions were also raised about the modification of buildings to increase usefulness of the second stories. Community members also wanted to know what the revitalization project would do for the individual business. Hanlon explained that each business owner would have the opportunity to to provide input toward their wants and needs for each building. He also stated that the business owner's visions will be incorporated into the overall plan.
The panel of representatives explained that the downtown revitalization project will be a long-term commitment and that even after the three-year DREAM Initiative contract is up, that DREAM will be around to continue the efforts towards a more beautiful and functional downtown Chillicothe. For more information on the DREAM Initiative. visit www.dream.mo.gov.
City Moves Ahead on DREAM Plan
Chillicothe's “DREAM” for revitalizing the downtown area is moving closer to reality. City leaders on Monday gave unanimous support to enter into a contract with the state for the Chillicothe DREAM Initiative, which is designed to help communities more efficiently and effectively engage in downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts.
The overall cost for the preliminary DREAM is $238,680 with the city paying a 20 percent match, amounting to $47,736 to be paid over three years. The three-year DREAM budget would include an organizational structure review, a land use, building and infrastructure survey, a community and consumer survey, a retain market analysis, a housing market analysis, financial assistance review, a downtown strategic plan, a streetscape and building design guidelines and a marketing plan.
Gov. Matt Blunt last year announced that Chillicothe was one of 10 communities picked for the DREAM Initiative. Crystal Narr, director of Main Street Chillicothe, explained to council members during their regular meeting Monday evening at City Hall that such designation helps when seeking grant funding for various projects. “Just to say we're from Chillicothe isn't going to mean much,” Narr said. “But, Chillicothe with a DREAM designation, will get us pushed to the top of the list.” The DREAM district of the downtown area is bordered by Calhoun on the North, Ann on the South, Elm on the East and Cherry on the West.
"We have been doing a pretty good job," Narr said. "Unfortunately, there are some things we can't do by ourselves." One aspect of the DREAM scope of services is a building and infrastructure survey, Narr said. "The buildings are old, but that's why we like them," she said. "Old has character." One goal is to develop the upper lofts of the old buildings into residential areas.
The official signing of the contract will be on Jan. 25 in Jefferson City. DREAM Committee members are Crystal Narr, Garni Churan, Chuck Haney, Terry Rumery, Dean Brookshier, Eva Danner, Steve Franke, Ed Milbank, Bill Everett and Tony Clark.
Also during Monday night's meeting, council members passed a resolution stating that the city supports the Main Street Program and downtown revitalization efforts.
Gets $280,000 in DREAM Tax Credits
DREAM Funding on Table
Steps are being taken to advance Chillicothe's DREAM initiative and council members tonight (Monday) will consider entering into a contract with the state to move ahead on the program. The DREAM initiative is designed to help communities more efficiently and effectively engage in downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts. Chillicothe was among 10 cities across the state chosen for the initiative last summer.
Arrive to Help Make DREAM Reality
What may have felt like only a DREAM about a month ago felt more like a reality yesterday (Wednesday) with the arrival of seven consultants who met with local community leaders and later toured the downtown area to develop a plan for additional revitalization under Chillicothe's new DREAM designation.
"Everything went really well,” Main Street Director Crystal Narr said this (Thursday) morning. She added, “It was a beautiful day for the walking tour and with the Missouri Photo Workshop going on, it helped show life downtown,” Narr said. “I really feel like we're on the right track.”
Just a month ago, Gov. Matt Blunt visited Chillicothe and announced that the city had been chosen to participate in the 2007 DREAM Initiative - a program which helps communities more efficiently and effectively engage in downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts. Chillicothe is among 10 cities across the state chosen for the initiative including Trenton and Kirksville.
As a selected DREAM community, Chillicothe will become an active member 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.
Narr explained that the consultants met with Chillicothe DREAM Committee members yesterday morning at the Main Street Chillicothe office. Local DREAM committee members are: Garni Churan, independent consultant and DREAM writer; Tony Clark, Chamber of Commerce, Greater Chillicothe Visitor's Region representative; Eva Danner, presiding commissioner of Livingston County; Bill Everett, Main Street executive board member and CDC representative; Steve Franke, Main Street executive board member and CDC representative; Chuck Haney, mayor; Ed Milbank, Main Street executive board member, CDC representative; Narr, and Terry Rumery, independent economic development consultant. Tom Chapman, CDC president, was also present for the initial meeting.
Seven consultants met with members of the Chillicothe DREAM committee and all took a walking tour of downtown Chillicothe. The tour followed a presentation showing what Main Street Chillicothe has accomplished and what its goals are. Following the walking tour, the group met again - this time to develop a strategy for accomplishing the goals discussed. Main Street Chillicothe Director Crystal Narr explained that a contract outlining the strategies discussed will likely be signed at the end of November.
C-T Photo/ Laura Schuler
Gov. Matt Blunt visited Chillicothe today (Thursday) to announce that the city has been chosen to participate in the 2007 DREAM Initiative. A large crowd of community leaders and residents joined the governor on the west side of the Livingston County Courthouse to hear Blunt's remarks congratulating the city of Chillicothe on its DREAM designation. Mayor Chuck Haney gave the introduction during the ceremony this morning.
"We've brought the governor downtown because this is where it is happening," the mayor said. "This is preserving and this is revitalizing historic downtown Chillicothe." "It is good to see so many community leaders," Blunt said today. "This (DREAM) should indeed help with efforts that are clearly underway to revitalize this downtown."
Blunt's DREAM (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri) Initiative helps communities more efficiently and effectively engage in downtown redevelopment and revitalization efforts. "We are extremely pleased to be receiving the DREAM for our dedication and hard work in the revitalization and rehabilitation of downtown Chillicothe," said Garni Churan, acting director of Main Street Chillicothe and writer of the grant. "The downtown district in any community is the most visible indicator of community pride. The DREAM Initiative verifies the significance and necessity of establishing a progressive downtown development plan for all communities." Churan also extended gratitude to the community members attending today's ceremony. "Everything you see around you is a result of our downtown revitalization plan," she said. "Thanks for making a commitment to downtown Chillicothe and making it a success."
According to Churan, Main Street plans to continue in the same direction in revitalizing Chillicothe's downtown. Over past few years, the revitalization of Chillicothe's downtown district has been in full swing with facade renovations (18 buildings so far) and the mural program (15 full-size murals to date). The beautification efforts of downtown Chillicothe include the standing flower pot program, concrete flower pots and the green space on the Livingston County Courthouse lawn has just recently been completed. The green space at the new Livingston County Library parking lot is also expected to be finished soon.
Main Street Chillicothe officials also have plans for the upper stories of Chillicothe's downtown buildings. "We want to focus on the upper stories of downtown beautification," Churan explained today. "We have a lot of usable space for residential or office space." Within a few months, Churan said, they will meet with planning and development representatives who will assist local officials in developing plans for the Chillicothe community.
Gov. Blunt made the announcement that Chillicothe had been chosen for the initiative during Governor's Conference on Economic Development Wednesday. Nine other cities which were chosen are Aurora, Caruthersville, Clinton, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston and Trenton. "Missouri relies on its local economies and the investment of Missourians who are interested in preserving a sense of place and cultural heritage in the hearts of their communities," Blunt said. "I congratulate this year's DREAM communities and look forward to working with them to provide these new resources to enhance their downtown neighborhoods." Gov. Blunt unveiled the DREAM Initiative last year to provide Missouri's small and mid-sized towns the same access to economic development tools as larger communities. "It's a comprehensive approach to longterm redevelopment," the governor explained. "It takes good planning. Long-term success is never an accident." 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. "When I asked the Department of Economic Development to evaluate our economic incentives, they found these tools were underutilized by small and medium communities because of their complexity," Blunt explained. "With the DREAM Initiative, we leveled the playing field to give our small and medium-sized communities the same access to downtown development tools as our largest cities."
Churan explained that Main Street Chillicothe, with cooperation from the Livingston County Community Development Corporation, the Chillicothe Development Corporation, and the City of Chillicothe, has developed and implemented a progressive long term plan to build an image of downtown that attracts customers, investors and businesses in an effort to spur economic development for the entire city of Chillicothe. "Reinvestment in our downtown allows us to pursue the rehabilitation of our district through historic preservation, murals, green space, facade renovations and beautification," Churan said. "It is our sincere pleasure to be designated a DREAM community as a representative of the state of Missouri and downtown districts throughout the nation."
The 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 before. All 42 applicants for the DREAM Initiative will benefit as well. They will receive technical assistance, exclusive invitations to a series of revitalization training opportunities and seminars, and the chance to learn about existing redevelopment programs, how they work and how to best access available tools. Applicants 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.
Sen. Brad Lager of Missouri's 12th district, extended congratulations to the city of Chillicothe. "This is just one more recognition for the hard work of our local officials in promoting real economic development to make our communities stronger," Lager said. "Economic development is a team effort and I am glad to lend my support to their efforts." Lager added that the DREAM Initiative is a tool that is critical in repairing downtowns and injecting real growth into Missouri communities by increasing property values and adding jobs. "Chillicothe has one of the best development teams that I have worked with. The city, the chamber and the development groups all work together," Sen. Lager said. "The community has seen outstanding growth over the past few years and the DREAM Initiative will allow them to continue their growth at a rapid pace." Last year's first Missouri DREAM community recipients were Cape Girardeau, Excelsior Springs, Hannibal, Kennett, Neosho, St. Joseph, Sedalia, Washington and West Plains. Together, those communities received more than $30 million in state grants to rebuild, revitalize and rejuvenate their downtowns.
NOTE: Although there was a tremendous turn-out for Governor Matt Blunt's announcement of Chillicothe being selected as a D.R.E.A.M. Initiative city on Thursday morning, we understand that people were not able to attend. We want all of you to share in the good news so through the kindness of our Chamber member Sharp Focus Video, you can view the Governor's announcement by clicking on the following link: http://www.sharpfocusvideo.com/governor.htm. A high-speed Internet connection is recommended.
Main Street Chillicothe Seeks DREAM
Main Street Chillicothe has applied for a Downtown Revitalization and Assistance for Missouri (D.R.E.A.M.) initiative. If the application receives state approval, officials say, many doors leading to the completion of Main Street's downtown revitalization plans may be opened. “This is a really neat thing,” Garni Churan, Main Street director said this (Tuesday) morning. “This initiative would enable us to use monies from different programs that maybe we couldn't use before,” she explained.
The D.R.E.A.M. Initiative promoted by Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is a new initiative based on the collaboration of three agencies: the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Depar-tment of Finance Board, and the Missouri Housing Development Commission.
According to Churan, the initiative allows select communities access to the technical and financial assistance necessary to accomplish their downtown revitalization plans.