Delta Regional Authority
September 14, 2018  
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Delta News Round-up

In this Issue: DRA Invests More Than $372,000 in Eutaw, AL. | Louisiana Receives $1.4 Million Investment for Infrastructure Improvements | Application Cycle Opens for Healthcare Technical Assistance Program | Susan Edwards Joins DRA as Executive Assistant | Local Food, Local Places Workshop in Helena | Clarksdale Photographer Wins Delta Business Challenge

DRA Invests More Than $372,000 in Eutaw, AL.

The Delta Regional Authority will invest $372,425 into infrastructure improvements in Eutaw, Alabama. This investment will extend Eutaw’s existing sewer collection system to support construction of a new travel stop at Exit 40 of Interstate 20/59 and create 43 new jobs.

The 13.9-acre travel stop will contain a retail store, tire shop, restaurant and an 84-truck parking facility. The travel stop is projected to accommodate about 1,000 trucks per day and create 43 new jobs.

DRA’s investment is part of its States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), which is the agency’s primary investment program focused on supporting economic development and job creation in rural communities. 

Click here for the news release

Louisiana Receives $1.4 Million Investment for Infrastructure Improvements

DRA is investing $1.4 million to enhance infrastructure in six Louisiana parishes that will improve the quality of life for more than 126,000 families and boost economic development opportunities. An additional $3 million will be invested by other public and private partners.

DRA, through its Community Infrastructure Fund, is investing in three communities: Gramercy, Thibodaux and West Monroe. The parishes involved are Ascension, Assumption, Lafourche, Ouachita, St. James and Terrebonne.

Below are details of the investments:

  • The largest investment, $1 million, will support the West Monroe Commercial Park’s efforts to install pipes that will improve drainage and eliminate erosion. The park supports about a dozen businesses with more than 300 employees and one of the region’s top tourist attractions.
  • In Thibodaux, DRA will invest $250,000 to build a new water control structure for Bayou Lafourche, which is the only fresh water source for 300,000 residents in Ascension, Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.
  • DRA will invest $150,000 to rehabilitate the Dudley Pump Station in Gramercy, improving the lives of more than 1,400 families.
Click here for the news release

Application Cycle Opens for Healthcare Technical Assistance Program

The Delta Regional Authority has opened the application cycle for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development – Technical Assistance Program, which is a collaboration with the Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The program aims to enhance healthcare delivery in the Delta region through intensive technical assistance to providers in select rural communities. Eligible applicants include critical access hospitals, small rural hospitals, rural health clinics, and other healthcare organizations located in the 252 counties and parishes in the DRA region.

Notices of Intent to Apply for the program are due no later than 5:00 pm U.S. Central Standard Time on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.  

Click here for more information

Susan Edwards Joins DRA as Executive Assistant

Please welcome Susan Edwards, who joins DRA as executive assistant to Chairman Chris Caldwell. Susan brings a wealth of experience to this role and will assist Chairman Caldwell with office operations and administration in Little Rock.

Most recently, Susan worked in the marketing and communications department at Simmons Bank of Pine Bluff, AR. Her duties included department budgeting, financial and invoice monitoring, and processing and reporting. She also coordinated and executed community events, managed charitable requests and contributions and managed media releases and inquiries.

Susan is a board member of the Central Advisory Board for the local ALS chapter and for Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock. She also is the event coordinator for the Little Rock Political Animals Club.

Susan and her husband, Peter, own Lazy Pete’s, a Little Rock restaurant specializing in casual coastal dining. They live in Little Rock with their two children.



Local Food, Local Places Workshop in Helena

More than 20 residents in the Helena, AR., area joined DRA this month for a two-day workshop to learn more about building local food systems as an economic development tool and to enhance community wellness.

Earlier this year, the Helena-West Helena/Philips County Port Authority was awarded $15,000 from DRA to invest in a potential farmers market and event space in a long-abandoned building near downtown where underground storage tanks have been removed. The Port Authority has acquired the site and has started cleaning up contamination from its past use as a school bus repair facility.

The award is part of DRA’s federal partnership with the Local Foods, Local Places initiative to help Delta communities protect the environment and human health by engaging with local partners to reinvest in existing neighborhoods as they develop local food systems. Other federal partners include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total investment in the project will reach about $40,000, including the seed grant and planning assistance.

The workshop was  held to assist community residents with defining their vision and strategic goals, which will be incorporated into a comprehensive action plan revolving around the farmers market and event space. DRA’s investment will support implementation of the action plan.



Clarksdale Photographer Wins Delta Business Challenge

Clarksdale photographer Trent Calvin won the $1,000 grand prize at the first Delta Creative Business Challenge held earlier this month. Calvin, owner of Trent Calvin Photography, won $500 in cash and will receive another $500 in in-kind services based on his business needs.

The pilot initiative in Coahoma County was organized by Higher Purpose Co. and CEO Tim Lampkin, a graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute. Board members Leonette Henderson and Derek Hopson Jr. from Higher Purpose and State Rep. Orlando Paden of Clarksdale served as judges.

Five other local businesses competed in the challenge, which was funded by Enterprise Community Partners, Springboard for the Arts and the Center for Rural Strategies. All of the participants will receive ongoing technical support.

Business categories for the competition included art, film/media, graphic design, music and photography. Participants met twice a week in August and had a final business pitch competition on Sept. 1, which resulted in the selection of the winner.



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