Clarksdale, MS – Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is awarding $630,400 to five communities in Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri in its first 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.
“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.
First-Round Strategic-Planning Awards:
The Alexander-Cairo Port District has been awarded $150,000 for the development of a master plan that will identify the scope for port development and the future of the riverport.
The City of Sesser has been awarded over $45,000 for a video-assisted sewer inspection and planning report that will position Sesser to identify sewer lines in need of repair or replacement and leverage funding sources that will lead to improved critical infrastructure.
The City of Minden has been awarded $135,000 for a comprehensive economic development plan that will assess basic public infrastructure and strategies that will enhance workforce and small business development.
The Lake Providence Port Commission has been awarded $150,000 for a master plan that will focus on financial resourcing for infrastructure upgrades at logical hubs such as ports and railways.
The South Central Ozark Council of Governments, in collaboration with Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Douglas, Texas, Wright, and Shannon Counties, has been awarded $150,000 for the development of a feasibility study that will focus on the development of a regional industrial incubator that will offer financing, mentoring, administrative support, and physical space to businesses.
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).