NEWS: Delta Regional Authority announces $6.7 million to strengthen Missouri

November 17, 2016

NEWS: Delta Regional Authority, state and local partners announce $6.7 million to strengthen Missouri's workforce, infrastructure, and economy

Chairman Masingill: "These strategic investments help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives"

MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA – The Delta Regional Authority, together with its federal and local-based partners, today announced $6.7 million in new investments aimed at strengthening Missouri's infrastructure and economy.

Specifically, DRA resources will upgrade the region's ferry system, help lower 911 response times, expand online learning opportunities, and support local entrepreneurs, among others. The full list of projects is provided below. The new investments come on top of recently-announced upgrades to the Port of New Bourbon.

"These strategic investments help us accomplish our core mission - create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of families across Missouri. Expanding ferry infrastructure and online learning opportunities may not be glamorous to some, but they are essential in our region's effort to attract and keep global companies, skilled workers, and leading entrepreneurs," said DRA Chairman Masingill. "I'm proud to work with all of our partners to invest in the future of the Mississippi Delta region."

"These investments will be a boost to many communities across southeast Missouri, including helping to improve and increase access to rural health care for many Missouri families," Gov. Nixon said. "As a former states' Co-Chairman for the Delta Regional Authority, I appreciate the DRA's continued commitment to creating jobs, strengthening infrastructure and serving communities in rural Missouri."

"Delta Regional Authority investments play a direct and significant role in improving the quality of life for families and communities in Southeast Missouri," said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. "The grant awards announced today will go a long way toward strengthening infrastructure, enhancing safety, improving health care, and expanding educational opportunities, all of which will create a stronger foundation for economic growth in the region."

"I will always advocate for essential projects right here in south central and southeast Missouri and investments like these that benefit communities across our district from Sikeston to Tecumseh are exactly why Congress created the DRA," said U.S. Representative Jason Smith. "Working together we can bring positive change where our tax dollars are put to use at home." 


DRA – MISSOURI ECONOMIC INVESTMENTS

1.      THREE RIVERS COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Expanding online coursework and learning. DRA Investment: $103,000. Total Investment: $408,370. The investment will purchase and install ITV equipment in 12 classrooms at various satellite campuses of Three Rivers Community College in southeast Missouri – serving 1,125 students per semester (an increase of 275 students per semester). The new, modernized equipment will enable the college to provide additional coursework in accounting, agriculture, criminal justice, information systems technology, marketing, and occupational and physical therapy assistant.

2.      OZARK REGION: Feasibility of an Ozark Artisan Innovation Hub. DRA Investment: $99,225. Total Investment: $120,725. The investment will allow a six county region to study how best to support entrepreneurs producing artisan products in the Ozarks, including the practicality of a regional makerspace and how initiatives such as business management support, microloans, and marketing support would help.

3.      SIKESTON: Expand Gero-Psych Department. DRA Investment: $206,000. Total Investment: $1,928,806. The resources will help Missouri Delta Medical Center expand its gero-psychiatric inpatient program by renovating an existing wing  - doubling the size and capacity of the program and bringing dozens of new jobs to the facility.

4.      ELLINGTON: Expand Critical Lab Access. DRA Investment: $192,365. Total Investment: $272,365. The investment will help Missouri Highlands Health Care launch a critical lab, filling a gap resulting from the hospital's closure and loss of lab services. The project will provide an estimated 40,000 lab services annually and support a series of new jobs.          

5.      TEXAS COUNTY: Completed surgery center at Medical Hospital. DRA Investment:  $150,000. Total Investment: $ 940,500. The resources will help Texas County Medical Center replace an outdated surgery area by completing a 6,000 sq. ft. infill section of the building. The improvements to the medical center, the second largest employer in the county, will enable the facility to expand quality, affordable care to the rural community. 

6.      CARTER, RIPEY, AND WAYNE COUNTIES: Implementation of Emergency 911 Service. DRA Investment: $231,250. Total Investment: $ 231,250. The investment will help map Carter, Ripley & Wayne Counties in Southeast Missouri and prepare them as region for the installation of a 911 Universal Emergency Number calling system. The goal is to lower response times during emergency situations within the three counties.    

7.      OZARK COUNTY: Dawt Mill Dam Removal. DRA Investment: $86,625. Total Investment: $ 86,625. The proposed project seeks to remove approximately 290 feet of the 425 foot wide mill dam at Historic Dawt Mill. The project will remove an imminent threat to public health and safety.

8.      PARK HILLS: Improvements to Rail Crossing on Parkway Drive. DRA Investment: $80,000. Total Investment: $2,604,000. The project will relocate a rail joint within the existing crossing and improve the approach.  The upgrade will accommodate additional capacity and employment growth at Piramal Glass while decreasing the risk of a derailing on the preferred truck route.

9.      DORENA/HICKMAN: Improvements to Region's Tug and Barge System. DRA Investment: $22,646. Total Investment: $108,703. The investment will improve/replace items on the region's tug and barge system, such as engine, generators, winches, winch motors, throttles, chairs, call system, fire extinguisher, and public address system. This will update the ferry service, helping the area's transportation needs.  The two full time and one part time employees will be retained as the service will be continuing. 

The investments were made primarily 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 small business and entrepreneurship, and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. DRA coordinates directly with the state's in the region for program funding implementation. DRA leadership works closely with the governor of each state and board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals. These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a great economic impact for the Delta region.


About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA's SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged $138 million in federal resources into more than $2.9 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, and infrastructure development projects. These investments have helped create or retain more than 26,000 jobs since the DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov.​

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Media Contact: John Collins
press@dra.gov