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First batch of 'DREAM cities' includes Washington, Mo.

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Washington, Mo. is among ten cities in the state that have been selected for a new effort to revitalize the downtowns of smaller towns.

The ten, selected from nearly 100 applicants, are: Cape Girardeau, Excelsior Springs, Hannibal, Hermann, Kennett, Neosho, Sedalia, St. Joseph, Washington, and West Plains.

Gov. Matt Blunt introduced the DREAM initiative earlier this year (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri).

State spokesman Greg Ochoa says the communities won't get any money, but for three years they'll have access communities will have access to technical and financial assistance for infrastructure improvements, historic preservation, affordable housing, community services, business development and job creation. One example is they'll get help finding grants they can apply for. All of the applicants also will be invited to seminars on revitalizing downtowns.

Blunt announced the DREAM communities Tuesday in St. Louis at the Governor's annual Conference on Economic Development.

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