Clarksdale, MS – Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is awarding over $1.5 million to 13 communities in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri in its second round of funding through the Strategic Planning Program. Funding for this program was made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden, a key part of his Investing in America agenda to grow local economies from the middle out and bottom up. Through the Investing in America agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration is creating more resilient and healthier communities across the country, including the lower Mississippi River region and Alabama Black Belt – so that no one has to leave home to find opportunity.
“The Strategic Planning Program gives public entities across DRA’s footprint the ability to address long-standing issues and develop a roadmap for economic growth and revitalization,” said Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “This investment will better position communities to maximize their economic development and basic public infrastructure opportunities.”
The Strategic Planning Program was designed to help communities in the DRA region identify and develop strategic plans to address infrastructure, industry growth, workforce pipelines, and small business development issues. The program aims to provide underserved communities in the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions with the necessary resources to develop plans to help alleviate prolonged issues and guide economic growth. Applicants have the autonomy to apply for a plan that fits their community’s unique challenges and needs. Eligible plans 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.
Second-Round Strategic-Planning Awards:
The Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority has been awarded $150,000 for a strategic plan to renovate Hangar 205 and utilize it as a source of business attraction and job creation.
The City of Carbondale has been awarded $150,000 for a master plan to address climate resiliency and flooding that has negatively impacted public services and underserved communities in the City of Carbondale.
The City of Mounds has been awarded $150,000 for a preliminary engineering report to address infrastructure issues, such as flooding, that have negatively impacted economic activity and business growth in the City of Mounds.
The Webster County Fiscal Court has been awarded $150,000 for a comprehensive economic development plan that will focus on creating an economically- and climate-resilient community that has experienced a decline in coal-industry jobs.
The City of Abbeville has been awarded $150,000 for a strategic plan that will allow the City of Abbeville to develop effective strategies to address job creation, entrepreneurship, and equity.
The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana has been awarded $145,000 for a comprehensive economic development plan focusing on economic resiliency and developing a market-driven economic development strategy to provide a ten-year vision for the Coushatta Tribe.
The Delta Agriculture Research and Sustainability District has been awarded $150,000 for a strategic plan that will focus on creating micro-business hubs that will be supported by a developing transportation network in the region.
The North Louisiana Growth and Development Foundation has been awarded $150,000 for a workforce development plan that will focus on building a talent pipeline in Northeast Louisiana for career opportunities in the microelectronics industry.
The City of Crystal Springs has been awarded $46,000 for a comprehensive economic development plan that will serve as a long-range policy guide to assist the City of Crystal Springs with future economic development decisions.
The Jackson Redevelopment Authority has been awarded $150,000 for a master plan focusing on the redevelopment of Union Station and its potential as a catalyst for job creation, small business development, tourism, and improved infrastructure.
The Leflore County Board of Supervisors has been awarded $150,000 for a strategic plan that will address challenges faced by healthcare systems in the Mississippi Delta, including the closures of hospitals and clinical education sites.
The City of Poplar Bluff has been awarded $72,500 for a comprehensive economic development plan that will allow the City of Poplar Bluff to address infrastructure issues such as an aging water-wastewater system.
The City of Rolla has been awarded $50,000 for a comprehensive economic development plan to develop a roadmap of economic growth and address issues such as infrastructure and transportation.
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 (dra.gov).