Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $500,000 in Funding to Address Infrastructure Needs (copy

Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $600,000 in Funding to Address Infrastructure Needs


May 14, 2024


Arlicia Jordan


Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $600,000 in Funding to Address Infrastructure Needs

Four communities across Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee receive funding through the Strategic Planning Program

Clarksdale, MS – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has awarded nearly $600,000 to four communities across Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee in its fourth round of funding through the Strategic Planning Program. Funding for this program is made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden — a key part of his Investing in America agenda.


“The Strategic Planning Program gives public entities across DRA’s footprint the ability to address long-standing issues and to develop a roadmap for economic growth and revitalization,” said Dr. Corey Wiggins, Federal Co-Chairman. “This investment will better position communities to maximize their economic development and basic public infrastructure opportunities.”


Awarding grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000, the Strategic Planning Program supports communities in the DRA region by promoting problem solving, enhancing resilience and building partnerships. The funding opportunity aims to provide communities in the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions — that are experiencing capacity strains — with the necessary resources to develop plans to help alleviate prolonged issues and to guide economic growth, including basic public infrastructure needs, industry growth, workforce pipelines and small business development. 


Applicants can apply for a plan that fits their community’s unique challenges and needs, which include, but are not limited to, comprehensive economic development plans, master plans, preliminary engineering reports, utility rate studies, feasibility studies, workforce development plans and broadband deployment plans. The Strategic Planning Program provides grantees with the resources necessary to develop a roadmap for economic development. 


Fourth-Round Strategic Planning Program award recipients include:



Arkansas State University awarded more than $142,000 to develop a heritage tourism feasibility study to ascertain if, and how, regional heritage sites should be designated as a National Heritage Area, as a means of increasing tourism revenue. 



Fulton County Fiscal Court awarded $149,000 to create a long-term economic development strategic plan to assess regional needs, goals, and vision in the areas of economic diversification, infrastructure, workforce development, housing and health care.



Tensas Water Distribution Association awarded $150,000 to create an infrastructure development and water management plan to determine the implementation of smart meters in Tensas Parish to promote water conservation and to provide for more efficient service. 



University of Memphis awarded nearly $150,000 to produce an agribusiness development plan focusing on education and workforce training in Agri-STEM, as well as economic development, by capitalizing on specialty crop production in partnership with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University and Rust College. The plan also aims to identify systemic roadblocks to Agri-STEM education and participation. 


Applications for the Strategic Planning Program are accepted on a rolling basis. Additional information for the Strategic Planning Program is available at Strategic Planning Program – Delta Regional Authority (


About the Delta Regional Authority

The DRA was established in 2000 as a formal framework for joint federal-state collaboration to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River and Alabama Black Belt regions. To fulfill this purpose, DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA’s region encompasses 252 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

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