Delta Regional Authority Invests $2.6 Million to Strengthen Mississippi’s Economy, Infrastructure

September 25, 2018

JACKSON, Ms.  –Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Chairman Chris Caldwell and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today announced that DRA will invest $2.6 million to enhance workforce training, help create and retain jobs and improve water and sewer service for rural families. DRA’s investments, along with other public and private partners, will bring a total of $30.7 million in new investments to Mississippi.

“Our investments will provide a boost to Mississippi’s economy in key areas such as job creation and retention, workforce training and development while also improving the health and safety of residents,” Caldwell said. “DRA is investing in critical infrastructure improvements that will enhance economic development efforts in the state.”

Summary of DRA’s statewide investments:

  • 11 Projects
  • DRA investments: $2,627,889
  • Total investments: $30,756,950
  • Jobs created: 116
  • Jobs retained: 287
  • Families affected: 2,044
  • Workers trained: 1,300

“Many Mississippi communities will soon see the benefits of these targeted investments to improve infrastructure and increase job opportunities for our state’s workforce,” said U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-MS. “With this latest announcement, the Delta Regional Authority again demonstrates how it is a valued economic development partner for our state.”

“The Delta Regional Authority is providing funding that can be leveraged by local communities to support infrastructure, job creation, and healthcare projects that will make a real difference for many Mississippians,” said U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith R-MS.  “I commend the DRA for its commitment to working with local leaders to move such projects forward.”

“These investments will strengthen our economy, create jobs, promote economic development and increase access to healthcare,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, R-MS. “I appreciate DRA’s commitment to Mississippi’s rural areas, and thank everyone involved in making these projects a reality.”

Mississippi’s congressional delegation issued the following statements:

“DRA’s continuous investments to Mississippi’s infrastructure and economy plays a vital role to the day-to-day lives of Second Congressional District residents,” said U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, (MS-02). “I am grateful for the agency’s focus on providing resources to create jobs and enhance my constituents’ quality of living.”

“The Delta Regional Authority’s latest round of investments into Mississippi’s rural communities will provide important resources to promoting a safer and healthier Mississippi,” said U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, (MS-03). “Communities such as Mize and Bay Springs will now be able to supplement their own public and private investments to complete necessary infrastructure projects that continue building safer communities and protecting vital industry assets for Mississippi’s workforce.”

Nine of the investments are made through DRA’s States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship projects. Two other investments are supported through DRA’s Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF).

Mississippi economic development projects:

  1. TOWN OF COMO: Wastewater treatment improvements. DRA Investment: $500,000. Total Investment: $4.9 million. Como will use DRA funds to improve its wastewater treatment facility so that the 512 families living there are no longer exposed to potential health and safety risks due to discharge backing up from the system. The town’s main pumping station will be replaced with equipment that will operate more effectively and efficiently. DRA funds will be provided through the CIF program.
  2. CITY OF DURANT: Existing business expansion. DRA Investment: $425,000. Total Investment: $15 million. DRA funds will be used to support a local manufacturing business as it adds two new product lines, which will result in creation of 60 new jobs and retention of the 203 workers now employed at the Holmes County facility. The company designs and manufactures undercard diagnostic equipment that is exported from the Durant plant to more than 110 countries. DRA funds will extend water lines to the plant and support installation of new electrical equipment.
  3. GRENADA COUNTY: Existing business expansion. DRA Investment: $392,665. Total Investment: $7.3 million. A freight company based in Grenada County will create 50 new jobs and retain 84 existing jobs with an expansion that includes construction of a new building and purchase of new equipment. DRA funds will be used to build an access road and install new sewer and water lines to serve the facility. The road will serve another local business and provide opportunities to attract other industries to the area.
  4. TOWN OF TUNICA: Sewer system improvements. DRA Investment: $320,000. Total Investment: $323,529. A new sewer system will be added to homes in the Orchard Park subdivision, protecting 21 families from unsanitary conditions. DRA funds will be used to install a new system that will serve the families and create safer and healthier living conditions. DRA funds will be provided through the CIF program.
  5. CITY OF CLARKSDALE. New healthcare services. DRA Investment: $148,541. Total Investment: $1.5 million. A community health provider will use DRA funds to acquire, renovate and equip a building to provide new health-related services to Clarksdale residents. The facility, located at 600 Ohio St., is a 17,500-square-foot building that will house an optometry site, provide exercise space, and add behavioral-health offices as well as administrative offices and a meeting room.  
  6. CITY OF MIZE. Water system improvements. DRA Investment: $206,060. Total Investment: $260,000. The Mize water system is experiencing difficulties that include lower water pressure in a residential area and leaking water lines that contain asbestos. DRA’s investment will replace the asbestos cement water lines and improve service for 147 families.
  7. CITY OF BAY SPRINGS. Water system improvements. DRA Investment: $155,555. Total Investment: $683,606. Bay Springs will use DRA funds to improve Commerce Drive, an industrial road that serves two industries with 2,000 workers. Commerce Drive will be widened to provide better access for trucks serving the industries. The improvements will allow the local industries to continue operations, create six new jobs and retain their employee base.
  8. CITY OF SENATOBIA. Workforce training and development. DRA Investment: $155,546. Total Investment: $205,546. DRA funds will be used to train 1,300 area residents for jobs in the manual machining sector. Marshall County Training Center will open in Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park as a one-stop-shop for placement, training and educational services. The center is a partnership involving Northwest Mississippi Community College, Marshall County, the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority and the Mississippi Partnership Local Workforce Development Area.
  9. CITY OF LELAND. Wastewater system improvements. DRA Investment: $125,260. Total Investment: $155,914. Leland will use DRA funds to upgrade and replace four dilapidated sewer pump stations that are creating health hazards and failing to provide adequate and safe sewer services for 370 families and area businesses, including the Mississippi State University Research and Extension Center.
  10. TOWN OF TUNICA. Infrastructure improvements. DRA Investment: $109,262. Total Investment: $175,402. Tunica will use DRA funds to stabilize the town’s lagoon levee and stop erosion, an improvement that will protect 501 families from a potential sewage spread into the community.
  11. TOWN OF SARDIS. Sewer system improvements. DRA Investment: $90,000. Total Investment: $100,000. Sardis will use DRA funds to install a new sewer pump station and reroute lines to provide safe and sanitary sewer service to 493 families living in the Panola County community. During heavy rainfall, storm water enters the sewer system and causes toilets and bathtubs to drain slowly and occasionally back up into homes.

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. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 55,000 jobs, train nearly 45,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 238,000 residents and businesses. Learn more at dra.gov.

Contact: Andrew Moreau
202-744-3558
amoreau@dra.gov