DRA Announces $4.6 Million Investment into Louisiana Communities

September 17, 2020

DRA’s investment will improve basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, healthcare access, and job training to support economic development in communities across Louisiana.

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $4,674,091 investment that will boost economic development and improve the quality of life for Louisiana communities and residents.  The 19 new investment projects will improve water and sewer systems, update transportation infrastructure, support entrepreneurship, and better healthcare access in communities across Louisiana.  The investment will be matched by $2.7 million and is projected to create or retain 690 jobs, train 602 individuals, and affect over 15,000 families.  

“The Delta Regional Authority’s $4.6 million investment into 19 critical projects will strengthen economic success in Louisiana 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 Edwards, Senator Cassidy, Senator Kennedy, and the entire Louisiana 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 Louisiana and seven local development districts in the state for program funding implementation.

Louisiana: 2020 Investment Snapshot

Number of Projects

DRA Investment

Total Project Investment

Jobs Created

Jobs Retained

Individuals Trained

Families Affected

19

$4,674,091

$7,451,921

102

588

602

15,072

 

“As we recover from Hurricane Laura and continue to fight COVID-19, it’s important to focus on Louisiana’s resilient future,” said Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA).  “The DRA’s funding flexibility to match federal and state funds allows our rural communities the ability to access federal dollars that otherwise would be unobtainable.  These investments from the DRA will provide much needed and timely assistance for healthcare, water and sewer improvements, drainage and workforce training to meet the vital needs of Louisiana’s distressed communities.  I want to thank DRA Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell and our congressional delegation for their assistance in securing this funding for these essential projects.”

“These federal funds invest in clean drinking water in small towns and in workforce development. Both are important for Louisiana to have a successful future,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

“Louisianians are still working to recover from Hurricane Laura, and this $4.6 million will contribute to critical infrastructure, health services, and workforce training. These investments will support nearly 700 jobs, helping job creators in Monroe, West Monroe, Gramercy, Napoleonville, and around the state. I’m thankful the Delta Regional Authority heard me out and is delivering key resources to Louisiana’s communities,” said U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).

The following projects were funded by CIF:

  1. Tensas Water Distribution Association Waterline Relocation | Tensas, LAThe Tensas Water Distribution Association will use DRA funds to relocate an existing waterline which conflicts with a USACE levee improvement project.  This investment is projected to affect 15 families.  

DRA Investment: $222,401

Total Investment: $246,401 

  1. City of Thibodaux Wastewater Treatment Plant Infrastructure Improvement Project | Thibodaux, LAThe City of Thibodaux will use DRA funds to improve wastewater treatment plant infrastructure to maintain compliance.  This investment is projected to create one job, retain three jobs, train four individuals, and affect 5,303 families.  

DRA Investment: $155,500

Total Investment: $243,700 

  1. Wesley Chapel and Mt. Calm Water System Project | Ruston, LAThe Wesley Chapel Water System, Inc. will use DRA funds to merge the Wesley Chapel and Mt. Calm Water Systems to provide a sustainable water system to Northeast Bienville Parish.  This investment is projected to affect 120 families.  

DRA Investment: $357,500

Total Investment: $607,500 

  1. Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements - Hodge | Hodge, LAThe Village of North Hodge will use DRA funds to repair damage to the wastewater lagoon.  This investment is projected to affect 155 families.  

DRA Investment: $221,683

Total Investment: $221,683 

  1. Dixie Inn Infrastructure Project | Dixie Inn, LAThe Village of Dixie Inn will use DRA funds to construct a new additional flow equalization tank adjacent to the existing tank along with piping, aeration equipment, and controls.  This investment is projected to affect 200 families.  

DRA Investment: $231,250

Total Investment: $256,250 

  1. Lafourche Parish Pump Stations Fuel Tank Upgrade | Thibodaux, LAThe Lafourche Parish Government will use DRA funds to replace 20 single-skinned fuel tanks with new double-skinned fuel tanks to improve services to residents.  This investment is projected to affect 7,881 families.  

DRA Investment: $136,405

Total Investment: $167,405 

“Investing in opportunity zones and upgrading our rural infrastructure strengthens South Louisiana’s economy and generates new growth. These are welcome investments for our state and will help improve the lives of South Louisiana families,” said Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA 3rd District).

“The new infrastructure investments that are headed to our state will help stimulate growth and improve the quality of life for Louisianians. These investments will be especially impactful in some of our most economically distressed and rural communities, and we're grateful to move these projects forward at this pivotal time,” said Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA 4th District).  

“These targeted federal dollars will help deliver much needed infrastructure improvements to increase quality of life and help spur economic growth throughout Louisiana, including many rural communities in my congressional district. Thank you to President Trump and the Delta Regional Authority for continuing to invest in the great state of Louisiana,” said Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA 5th District).

“This investment will improve the quality of life and enable safer, more resilient communities for both Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District and the entire state. The funds will touch and enhance nearly every aspect of our lives – physical infrastructure, public utilities, workforce development, job training and economic development – all of which play a major role in making Louisiana’s economy more competitive,” said Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA 6th District).

The following projects were funded by SEDAP:

  1. Futures Fund Coding Bootcamp Project | Baton Rouge, LAThe Walls Project will use DRA funds to provide information technology and applied skills training to recently displaced or unemployed residents and military veterans.  This investment is projected to create one new job and train 240 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $150,000

Total Investment: $350,000

  1. Greater New Orleans Opportunity Zones Project | New Orleans, LAThe Greater New Orleans Development Foundation will use DRA funds to reassess the scope and scale of Opportunity Zone investment strategies and align outreach strategies with respect to COVID-19 impact.  

DRA Investment: $129,549

Total Investment: $253,861 

  1. Springhill Sewer Main Repair | Springhill, LAThe City of Springhill will use DRA funds to repair sewer main and road repairs along 11th Street NE to improve services to residents and businesses.  This investment is projected to affect 100 families.  

DRA Investment: $227,250

Total Investment: $277,250

  1. Louisiana Rural Health Association Telemedicine Program | Napoleonville, LAThe Louisiana Rural Health Association will use DRA funds to train rural health clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities how to profitably implement telemedicine services, keeping clinics open and saving jobs.  This investment is projected to create 32 new jobs, retain 500 jobs, and train 300 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $750,000

Total Project Investment: $1,750,000

  1. IDEAinstitute Project | New Orleans, LAThe Idea Village will use DRA funds to support educational programming for startup founders and entrepreneurs to develop viable businesses.  This investment is projected to train 40 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $139,366

Total Investment: $201,266 

  1. Village of Delta Economic Development Street Improvements | Delta, LAThe Village of Delta will use DRA funds to reconstruct portions of St. Charles Street, Ouachita Avenue, and 2nd Street for economic development and to improve services to residents and businesses.  This investment is projected to retain 19 jobs.  

DRA Investment: $222,000

Total Investment: $230,000 

  1. Highland Park Commercial Subdivision Infrastructure Improvements | West Monroe, LAThe City of West Monroe will use DRA funds to install water and sewer lines, install fire hydrants, and make street improvements for the development of the Highland Park Commercial and Residential Subdivision.  This investment is projected to create 20 new jobs and affect 20 families.  

DRA Investment: $714,512

Total Investment: $899,512 

  1. Air Handler Unit Replacement | Monroe, LASt. Francis Medical Center will use DRA funds to replace ten critical care area air handler units to improve services to patients and decrease maintenance and operational costs.  

DRA Investment: $300,000

Total Investment: $478,418 

  1. CommuniHealth Services | West Monroe, LAMorehouse Community Medical Centers will use DRA funds to build a primary care medical home clinic that will provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services and improve services to residents.  This investment is projected to create 12 jobs and train 18 individuals.  

DRA Investment: $211,840

Total Investment: $668,840

  1. Acadiana Opportunity Zones Project | Lafayette, LAThe Acadiana Planning Commission will use DRA funds to develop strategy to leverage future public investment and facilitate and develop previously identified opportunity zone projects to improve business opportunities for residents.  

DRA Investment: $131,000

Total Investment: $131,000

  1. Gramercy Retail/Hotel Center Wastewater Treatment Project | Gramercy, LAThe Town of Gramercy will use DRA funds to install a new sewer pump station and sewer collection line to connect a business service center to the Town’s utility system to serve new business development.  This investment is projected to create 16 new jobs, retain 16 jobs, and affect 1,278 families.  

DRA Investment: $155,500

Total Investment: $247,500 

  1. Town of Washington Gas Line Replacement | Washington, LAThe Town of Washington will use DRA funds to replace the Town’s natural gas line which crosses Bayou Courtableau.  

DRA Investment: $135,300

Total Investment: $135,300 

  1. CORE Lab Enhancement | New Orleans, LAThe New Orleans BioInnovation Center will use DRA funds to purchase new highly specialized laboratory and A/V equipment to retain emerging biotechnology companies and attract new business ventures.  This investment is projected to create 20 new jobs and retain 50 jobs.  

DRA Investment: $83,035

Total Investment: $93,035

 

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