NEWS: Delta Regional Authority, state, and local partners invest over $7.2 million into Mississippi

October 26, 2016

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

ITTA BENA – The Delta Regional Authority and its federal and state partners are investing more than $7.2 million into strengthening Mississippi's workforce, infrastructure, and economy, Delta Regional Authority Federal Chairman Chris Masingill announced today. A full list of the projects, which include more than $3 million in DRA-designated investments, is provided below.

Specifically, DRA plans to invest in the construction of a new levee in Natchez, a new Amtrak platform and pavilion in Quitman County, the construction of permanent exhibits at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, improved water infrastructure across the state, among others.

"These strategic investments help us accomplish our core mission - create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of families across Mississippi and the Delta. Repairing levees and improving sewers may not be glamorous to some, but they are the key building blocks for Mississippi 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."

"This Delta Regional Authority funding will support immediate and long-term projects that can make a difference in the lives of Mississippians.  Combined with other nonfederal and private contributions, these projects can help improve the quality of life and economic outlook for many people," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran.  "I commend the DRA for its attention to the needs of the Mississippi Delta."

"Many of Mississippi's communities will benefit from these investments to help improve infrastructure and encourage job creation," U.S. Senator Roger Wicker said. "This Delta Regional Authority-directed funding makes good use of taxpayer funds to support local projects and increase the well-being of residents. These announcements are great news for the entire state."

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said, "These projects will address vital needs in our Delta communities. They will upgrade infrastructure, improve quality of life and promote economic development. I am grateful to Sen. Cochran, Sen. Wicker and the Delta Regional Authority for making them a reality."

"I am excited to see these investments for projects across Mississippi. The grant to build a levee in Adams county will benefit the residents and businesses in the surrounding communities,” said U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper. “The land that will be available after the levee’s construction will be a great asset to industry in our great state."

DRA - MISSISSIPPI ECONOMIC INVESTMENTS

  1. QUITMAN COUNTY: AMTRAK Platform. DRA Investment: $300,000. Total Investment: $1,200,000. This project will install a platform, pavilion, and paved area which will serve as an AMTRAK stop in Quitman County, Mississippi.

  2. NATCHEZ: Bellwood Levee. DRA Investment: $1,266,500. Total Investment: $2,325,500. Adams County will build a protective levee around a 100 acre section of county owned land at their port for industrial use.

  3. YAZOO CITY: Truelight Water System Improvements. DRA Investment: $337,300. Truelight Redevelopment Group proposes a 2 phase project to drill a new water well, connect its two water systems to provide safe drinking water and extend service to 40 unserved households.

  4. ITTA BENA: Lagoon Improvements. DRA INVESTMENT: $255,200. Install twenty-five, five HP aerators in the existing three cell lagoon to meet MDES permit limits.

  5. DUNCAN: Mississippi Readers-to-Leaders Project - Save the Children. DRA Investment: $100,000. Total Investment: $250,000. Save the Children will provide job development, through extensive, ongoing training and technical assistance, and resources to build a talented pool of education paraprofessionals in rural Mississippi.

  6. CLARKSDALE: Delta Blues Museum: The Story of America's Music. DRA Investment: $168,903. Total Investment: $1,668,903. This project involves the fabrication and construction of new permanent exhibits at the Delta Blues Museum.

  7. WEBB: Webb Emergency Well Repair. DRA Investment: $53,788. With well No. 2 in not in operation due to the pump's poor condition and lack of adequate chlorination equipment, the investment will rehab the well to provide essential water to the community.

  8. LELAND: Leland Water Systems Improvement. DRA Investment: $900,000. Total Investment: $1,132,859. Leland will install a new water well, construct a new elevated water tank and make distribution improvements to tie old and new together.

The investments were 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 small business and entrepreneurship, and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. DRA coordinates directly with Mississippi's nine planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation.

DRA leadership works closely with the governor of each state and his 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 of Mississippi.

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