by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
City leaders in a town that was once a booming hot spot in the Ozarks are moving forward with revitalization plans.
Rockaway Beach is making strides and now they’re turning to Taney County Commissioners for some extra help.
City leaders are preparing to apply for a Community Development Block grant through the Missouri Department of Economic Development to help with road repairs. It is a matching grant — and they’re hoping that the county will meet them halfway on the 10-percent they have to come up with.
“Last summer we did a chip and seal to cover some of the extraordinary dilapidated roads,” said Rex Wood, mayor of Rockaway Beach. “Just to kind of sustain us..and this is going to kind of bridge us to bringing things up to standard like we could really be proud of and attract more visitors and residents to the area.”
“So, there’s people that have been working on this..some of them for a lifetime it seems,” said Jim Harriger, mayor pro tem in Rockaway Beach, “and they’ve watched things rise up and die away and rise up and die away and we’ve got some people that are tired.”
Hollywood could play a role in Rockaway Beach’s comeback, an independent film called “Sorrows’ Way” starring actress Laureen Landers was partly filmed in the city in December.
“It certainly draws attention and it certainly shows that Hollywood likes us,” Wood said.
“What will make us just that one step more liveable is bringing back some of the businesses that were here, died out and are ripe to come back,” Harriger said.
The deadline for applying for the grant is in May.
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