DRA Announces $2.2 Million Investment into Alabama Communities

September 17, 2020

DRA’s investment will improve basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, and job training to support economic development in communities across the Alabama Black Belt.

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $2,276,745 investment that will boost economic development and improve the quality of life for Alabama communities and residents.  The investment will be matched by $5.2 million and will attract an additional $180 million in leveraged private investment (LPI) into the Alabama Black Belt region.  

Ten new investment projects will improve water and sewer systems, update transportation infrastructure, and support entrepreneurship in communities across the Alabama Black Belt.  These projects are expected to create or retain 318 jobs, train over 1,300 individuals, and affect over 4,200 families.  

“The Delta Regional Authority’s $2.2 million investment into ten critical projects will strengthen economic success in the Alabama Black Belt by improving vital infrastructure and creating opportunities to foster workforce development,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.  “These investments highlight the importance of local and regional public-private partnerships in realizing the long-term success of infrastructure, business, and workforce projects to spur job growth and ultimately improve business competitiveness in the region.  I would like to thank Governor Ivey, Senator Shelby, Senator Jones, and the Alabama Congressional delegation for their continued support and commitment to the Delta Regional Authority and our work to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those residing in our region.”

Funding for these projects is provided by the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), which provides direct investment into community-based and regional projects to support basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce training and education, and small businesses development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), which targets physical infrastructure projects that help build safer, more resilient communities in the Delta region.  DRA coordinates directly with the Office of the Governor for the State of Alabama and six local development districts in the state for program funding implementation.

Alabama: 2020 Investment Snapshot

Number of Projects

DRA Investment

Total Project Investment

Additional Capital Investment

Jobs Created

Jobs Retained

Individuals Trained

Families Affected

10

$2,276,745

$7,490,422

$180,000,000

236

82

1,323

4,219

“These grant funds from the Delta Regional Authority are an important investment in the future of the Black Belt and of Alabama as a whole,” Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) said. “This $2.2 million will make much-needed improvements and enhancements in several Alabama communities and will help with creating new jobs. I am appreciative of the DRA’s continued partnership and support of growth in Alabama’s Black Belt.”

“I am grateful for DRA’s continued investment in Alabama, particularly in these rural and underserved areas,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).  “The $2.2 million to fund ten projects throughout our state will improve water and sewer systems, establish new job training programs that will focus on increasing employment opportunities, among providing other services.  I want to thank DRA for their partnership in Alabama, and I am confident that this funding will be leveraged to help create stronger and more vibrant communities across our state.”

“This $7.4 million investment is welcome news for Alabama’s Black Belt region, which has historically suffered from a lack of investment and has been particularly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Delta Regional Authority’s funding, and the additional $180 million in private investment it will attract, will create good jobs, improve aging water and sewer infrastructure, and support local entrepreneurs. Today’s announcement recognizes the significant opportunities the Black Belt and its talented workforce holds for economic growth,” said U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

The following projects were funded by CIF:

  1. Town of Lowndesboro Water Systems Improvements | Lowndesboro, ALThe Town of Lowndesboro will use DRA funds to replace the original water system.  The project will begin at the existing elevated storage tank on School Street and N. Broad Street.  This investment is projected to affect 380 families.  

DRA Investment: $353,258

Total Investment: $353,258 

  1. North Clarke Signalization Project | Grove Hill, ALThe Clarke County Commission will use DRA funds to install signalization and lighting to serve the entrance of the North Park Industrial Park from U.S. Highway 43.  This investment is projected to create 100 jobs.  

DRA Investment: $297,405

Total Investment: $100,419,905 

  1. Union Springs GIS Parcel Tax/Service Line Mapping Project | Union Springs, ALThe City of Union Springs will use DRA funds to build GIS maps to include Parcel Tax maps, service lines, and updated geographical and vertical data of existing lines.  This investment is projected to train three individuals and affect 1,381 families.  

DRA Investment: $43,313

Total Investment: $43,313 

  1. Storm Water Collection System Improvements | Hurtsboro, AL:  The Town of Hurtsboro will use DRA funds to reduce localized flooding by repairing storm water collection system to help promote health, safety, and sustainable economic development. 

DRA Investment: $38,2733

Total Investment: $388,273

“Southwest Alabama’s agriculture industry depends on effective transport methods to get products to market, so I’m pleased DRA grant money will go towards strengthening our rail infrastructure to support a new peanut processing facility in Atmore.  This project and the 100 jobs it will create are great news for the Atmore community and the region,” said Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL 1st District).

“Delta Regional Authority’s nearly $2 million of investments in infrastructure and economic development initiatives across the 7th Congressional District is great news for the communities I represent in Clarke, Lowndes, Perry, and Sumter Counties,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL 7th District).  “These investments will have a lasting positive economic impact on the Black Belt by creating jobs, revitalizing aging infrastructure, and promoting economic growth. On behalf of the 7th District, I commend the Delta Regional Authority for these critical investments in communities across Alabama’s Black Belt and appreciate the strong partnerships they’ve built to improve the quality of life for my constituents.”

The following projects were funded by SEDAP:

  1. Town of Hayneville Sanitary Sewer and Lagoon Improvements | Hayneville, ALThe Town of Hayneville will use DRA funds to rehabilitate four existing sanitary sewer system lift stations to improve services for local residents and businesses. This investment is projected to affect 393 families.  

DRA Investment: $306,042

Total Investment: $306,042 

  1. MMI Public Safety and Career Development Complex Refurbishment | Marion, ALThe Marion Military Institute (MMI) will use DRA funds to refurbish and upgrade a newly acquired facility for conversion into MMI’s Public Safety Career Development Complex. This investment is projected to train 20 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $52,500

Total Investment: $98,000 

  1. Project Nautilus | Atmore, ALThe City of Atmore will use DRA funds to construct a new rail spur and transload yard to serve a new peanut processing plant facility. This investment is projected to create 100 new jobs, retain 70 jobs, and train 100 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $307,071

Total Investment: $84,620,371 

  1. York Downtown Sewer Rehabilitation | York, ALThe City of York will use DRA funds to rehabilitate the sewer system in the downtown business district to improve services for local businesses and residents. This investment is projected to affect 985 families.  

DRA Investment: $259,530

Total Investment: $259,530 

  1. Marion Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements Phase 2 | Marion, ALThe City of Marion will use DRA funds to repair and replace wastewater treatment plant equipment to improve services for local residents and businesses. This investment is projected to affect 1,080 families.  

DRA Investment: $201,253

Total Investment: $201,253 

  1. Rural Black Belt Workforce and Business Development Center | Livingston, ALThe University of West Alabama will use DRA funds to establish the Rural Black Belt Workforce and Business Development Center to support and foster the growth of entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in the Alabama Black Belt. This investment is projected to create 36 jobs, retain 12 jobs, and train 1,200 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $418,100

Total Investment: $800,477 

 

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River Delta region and Alabama Black Belt.  DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development.  DRA’s mission is to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state region.

DRA Media Contact:
Shawna Blair
Director of Communications and Public Engagement
202-434-4842
sblair@dra.gov