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Effort Underway to Revitalize Rockaway Beach

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BRANSON MO NEWS: A meeting Thursday night in Rockaway Beach marks the start of the Main Street Affiliate Project.  The town, along Lake Taneycomo northeast of Branson, is the recipient of a Downtown Revitalization Grant from Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc.  The grant totals $25,000 with MMSC providing 60 percent and Rockaway Beach 40 percent. During the next two years, the organization will provide Rockaway Beach with training and mentoring to establish a revitalization organization.  Jim Harriger is director of White River Community Development, which applied for the grant.  According to Harriger, his organization was approached by a Rockaway  Beach alderman and local businessman last year about being the sponsor for the Missouri Main Street Affiliate program.  Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. works on economic revitalization of downtown areas across the state of Missouri.  It uses education tools of the Main Street Four-Point Approach to Revitalization, developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program.  In October, Harriger said, they found out they were chosen to receive the grant. The money will come back into the city, according to Harriger, as technical advice.  The town hall meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Community Center, 2762 State Highway 176 in Rockaway Beach, is part of that. “The town hall meeting tonight is designed to bring citizens, property owners, business owners and government representatives together to look at ‘what can we be?'” he said.  “We won’t be what we were, but we can be more than we are, and that’s what makes it exciting.” According to Harriger, Missouri Main Street Connection has access to contacts for other revitalization grants cities might apply for to help move them forward. He said the town hall meeting will offer information about Missouri Main Street and its approach to economic revitalization. “They’ve heard all the negatives:  ‘you can’t do it here,'” …



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