Improving and re-establishing downtown Farmington was the topic of the DREAM initiative kick-off meeting held at City Hall Tuesday evening.
Senior Project Manager, Michael Hemmer addressed the public in attendance and gave a description of the project. The Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative is a three-year planning program assisted by the MDFB (Missouri Department of Financing Board), DED (Department of Economic Development) and MHDC (Missouri Housing Development Commission).
A representative for each of those departments described their departments and how they will help the DREAM project.
“Farmington is encouraged to talk to other DREAM communities to find out information and how they work with each other,” Hemmer said.
The first three stages in the planning process are already in progress, they are an Organizational Structure Review; Land use, building and infrastructure; and community and consumer surveys. The surveys are a big part in getting community involvement. They will be performing phone surveys, which will include demographical questions, and a visitor’s survey to find out why people want to come to the downtown Farmington area.
“Farmington has a great downtown — you can be picky on what comes into downtown area,” said Hemmer.
Greg Beavers, Farmington city administrator said, “The public needs to talk to people about meetings and help keep the enthusiasm up.”
Also discussed were marketing ideas and ways to pull people into the downtown by way of the wine country and the bicyclists coming into the area. Hemmer added that the downtown revitalization isn’t finished, and it takes a long time. There is a long time commitment for Farmington.
“This is a wonderful thing to participate in,” said Farmington Mayor Stuart “Mit” Landrum. “The state is paying for a collection of studies to help the downtown, to help make it viable. This is a process that may take three years.
“I would like to stress that everyone needs to be patient it will take time. This does take citizen involvement”.
Farmington is one of 30 cities to receive the DREAM grant.