"Dream" Location in Mid-MO
The DREAM initiative stands for Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri. Last year's DREAM cities received about three million dollars from public funding and got more from private sources.
At this ceremony, Gov. Blunt and other community leaders were optimistic about the future of downtown Mexico. Blunt said the program will help an already stable downtown reach new levels.
"Clearly Mexico's downtown is ahead of downtowns of cities of comparable size but everyone sees the potential that exists here to spur further economic development and job creation," Blunt said.
Missouri House Representative Steve Hobbs says the opportunity for more jobs and an updated downtown made the decision to apply to be a DREAM city an easy one.
"All those local leaders all work together because Mexico is our community and we like living here and we want to see Mexico prosper," Hobbs said.
Store owner Melody Buffington has lived in Mexico all her life and opened her downtown jewelry store 13 years ago. She said Mexico needs to highlight what makes it different.
"If we made our downtown a little more appealing then maybe people would come and shop down here and feel more at home because it's different," Buffington said. "It's different than if you go to the big city or you go to the malls."
Mexico will be one of ten new DREAM cities this year. DREAM cities become active members of the program for three years.