The Delta Regional Authority announced Thursday that it will invest more than $3.7 million in federal and local resources for projects in the Delta. The DRA estimates the eight Arkansas investments can help create and retain 1,050 local jobs for local residents. The projects include water and sewer improvements for the Big River Steel project in Osceola.
The grants are being made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and business development and entrepreneurship projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region.
DRA coordinates directly with Arkansas’ local development districts in the region for program funding implementation.
“In this time of extreme competition for jobs and business attraction, these strategic federal investments into the physical infrastructure of Delta communities are necessary to create economic opportunity for the hard-working people of Arkansas and the greater Delta region,” said DRA chairman Chris Masingill.
Both U.S. senators from Arkansas issued statements: U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R): “We need the infrastructure, tools and equipment necessary to provide a foundation for future progress, development and job creation. This is a great investment in our state that will help empower rural Arkansas communities and businesses.” Here’s how the DRA describes the Arkansas projects receiving funding, including potential job creation:
Airport hangar construction, Stuttgart: Installation of a new hangar at Stuttgart Municipal Airport to support expansion of airplane parts recycling industry. DRA Investment: $200,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $2,850,000; Total Project Cost: $3,050,000 (20 jobs to be created and 20 jobs to be retained).
Sewer rehabilitation, Rison: Corrections of defects in the sewer pond to stop sanctions from DEQ. DRA Investment: $196,250; Total Project Cost: $196,250.
Big River Steel water and sewer improvements, Osceola: Extension of water and sewer utilities to the future site of Big River Steel Plant and the extension of water lines to an undeveloped location. DRA Investment: $256,500; Leveraged Public Investment: $608,576; Total Project Cost: $865,076 (600 jobs to be created).
Stone County roof replacement project, Mountain View: Replacement of the roof on a county-owned building which houses Excel Boats. DRA Investment: $87,875; Leveraged Public Investment: $9,250; Total Project Cost: $97,125.00 (5 jobs to be created and 36 jobs to be retained).
Parking lot reconstruction, Eudora: Repair and upgrade of city-owned parking lot utilized by Superior Uniform Group. DRA Investment: $118,402; Total Project Cost: $118,402 (206 jobs to be retained).
Addison Shoe Co. equipment modernization, Wynne: Purchase of equipment for expansion and modernization of facility. DRA Investment: $177,720; Leveraged Public Investment: $453,000; Private Investment: $150,000; Total Project Cost: $630,720 (15 jobs to be created and 150 jobs to be retained). Clay County road upgrade, Corning: Upgrade and paving of county road to be utilized by PECO Foods. DRA
Investment: $256,500; Leveraged Public Investment: $1,000,000; Total Project Cost: $1,256,500 (39 jobs to be created and 1 job to be retained). Marmaduke rail spur, Marmaduke: Construction of rail spur alongside Union Pacific main line for rail access for two industrial sites with committed industries. DRA Investment: $100,000; Leveraged Public Investment: $125,000; Total Project Cost: $225,000.