DRA Announces $5.3 Million Investment into Arkansas 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 Arkansas.

CLARKSDALE, MS – Today, the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced a $5,325,649 investment that will boost economic development and improve the quality of life for Arkansas communities and residents.  The investment will be matched by $23.6 million and will attract an additional $176.7 million in leveraged private investment (LPI) into the state of Arkansas.  

The 16 new investment projects will improve water and sewer systems, update transportation infrastructure, support innovative job training, and better healthcare services in communities across Arkansas.  These projects are expected to create or retain 4,432 jobs, train 5,081 individuals, and affect over 6,300 families.  

“The Delta Regional Authority’s $5.3 million investment into 16 critical projects will strengthen economic success in the Arkansas Delta 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 Hutchinson, Senator Boozman, Senator Cotton, and the entire Arkansas 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 Arkansas and six local development districts in the state for program funding implementation.

Arkansas: 2020 Investment Snapshot

Number of Projects

DRA Investment

Total Project Investment

Additional Capital Investment

Jobs Created

Jobs Retained

Individuals Trained

Families Affected

16

$5,325,649

$28,927,091

$176,724,830

1,682

2,750

5,081

6,369

 

“This grant addresses many basic infrastructure deficiencies in the day-to-day life of people in the Delta. The projects that the Delta Regional Authority chose to support reflect the leadership’s deep understanding of what the communities need to improve their quality of life,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR).

“DRA continues to identify and invest in projects that will create jobs, grow the economy and improve quality of life in Arkansas Delta communities. I am proud to support DRA and appreciate its commitment to advancing economic opportunities by addressing the infrastructure and workforce needs of the region,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

“I’m grateful for the investments the Delta Regional Authority is making in critical infrastructure projects across the Delta and in Little Rock. These funds will help sustain our communities and create job opportunities for Arkansas families,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The following projects were funded by CIF:

  1. Technology Park Opportunity Zone Lead Rail Expansion | Jonesboro, ARThe City of Jonesboro will use DRA funds to expand rail infrastructure at Craighead Technology Park. This investment is projected to create 105 new jobs and retain 405 jobs.  

DRA Investment:  $509,000

Total Investment: $2,509,000 

  1. Pulaski County Transportation Improvements Project | Little Rock, ARThe Pulaski County Government will use DRA funds to improve transportation components at the Little Rock Port Authority Industrial Park. This investment is projected to create 1,000 new jobs.  

DRA Investment:  $2,000,000

Total Investment: $166,424,496 

“These exciting projects will invigorate the already growing Arkansas economy by enhancing critical infrastructure and creating over a thousand new jobs. I appreciate the Delta Region Authority’s leadership and tireless work to improve the quality of life for Arkansans,” said Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR 1st District).

“I welcome the Delta Regional Authority’s contribution to the long-term growth and improvement of our state,” said Congressman French Hill (R-AR 2nd District). “These projects will provide new jobs for over 1,600 Arkansans and directly impact the lives of more than 6,000 families across Arkansas. This significant investment in Arkansas’s infrastructure represents economic expansion, new employment opportunities for our workers, and far-reaching improvements to transportation.”

“Our infrastructure tends to be out of sight and out of mind. No one really notices a road until it’s under construction or thinks about the railroads that transport goods across the country, but these are what keep America running. Arkansas always has opportunities for greater infrastructure and economic development, which is why I’m so glad to hear that DRA is investing in these projects. Not only will this bring more jobs to our state, but it will also benefit our local communities. I look forward to supporting these efforts on a federal level through my role on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR 4th District).

The following projects were funded by SEDAP:

  1. Caraway Water Project | Caraway, ARThe City of Caraway will use DRA funds to improve the City’s water storage tank to add a mechanical mixer and install an overflow pipe and manway to increase safety for local residents. This investment is projected to affect 529 families.  

DRA Investment:  $183,275

Total Investment: $183,275 

  1. Hughes Sewer Treatment Improvements | Hughes, AR: The Town of Hughes will use DRA funds to rebuild sewage treatment sand filters to help meet state-mandated discharge requirements.  This investment is projected to affect 650 families. 

DRA Investment:  $206,000

Total Investment: $1,029,000 

  1. Trumann Infrastructure Improvements | Trumann, AR: The City of Trumann will use DRA funds to replace two water pumps to support local residents, promote and retain jobs, and encourage commercial and tourist development.  This investment is projected to affect 2,616 families. 

DRA Investment:  $117,881

Total Investment: $192,881 

  1. Warren Pump Station Project | Warren, AR: The City of Warren will use DRA funds to install two water pump stations along Highway 278 to support local residents and allow for future economic development and expansion.  This investment is projected to create 80 new jobs, retain 120 jobs, and affect 2,273 families. 

DRA Investment:  $296,515

Total Investment: $3,984,876 

  1. Lake Village Railroad Siding Project | Lake Village, AR: The Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District will use DRA funds to construct a railroad siding to maximize existing rail transportation and increase transportation efficiency.  This investment is projected to retain three jobs. 

DRA Investment:  $155,051

Total Investment: $155,051 

  1. Peebles Organic Infrastructure Improvements | Augusta, AR: The City of Augusta will use DRA funds to replace an existing roof and insulation and install electrical improvements on an agricultural produce storing facility.  This investment is projected to create four new jobs and retain 47 jobs. 

DRA Investment:  $228,634

Total Investment: $533,464 

  1. Certified Medical Billing Program | Little Rock, AR: The World Service for the Blind will use DRA funds to place Arkansas residents who are blind and visually impaired in medical billing jobs in 27 medical facilities across 41 distressed Arkansas counties.  This investment is projected to create 27 new jobs and train 81 individuals. 

DRA Investment:  $211,856

Total Investment: $987,445 

  1. Arkansas Rural Health Partnership Healthcare Workforce Training & Education Center | Lake Village, AR: The Arkansas Rural Health Partnership will use DRA funds to increase and improve the workforce for hospitals, rural health clinics, and community health centers throughout the Arkansas Delta region.  This investment is projected to create 250 new jobs, retain 2,000 jobs, and train 5,000 individuals. 

DRA Investment: $35,000

Total Investment: $90,000 

  1. Sharp County Building Renovation | Ash Flat, AR: Sharp County, Arkansas will use DRA funds to renovate and upgrade a 277,000 square foot building to support business development.  This investment is projected to create 200 new jobs.  

DRA Investment:  $307,000

Total Investment: $27,807,000 

  1. WFA Regional Women’s Economic Mobility Hub | Little Rock, AR: The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas will use DRA funds to create capacity around a Women’s Regional Economic Mobility Hub to support the economic mobility of women business owners in Arkansas, particularly low-income women and women of color.  This investment is projected to create one new job and retain 25 jobs. 

DRA Investment:  $100,000

Total Investment: $270,000 

  1. Helena Harbor Surface Transportation Improvement Project | Helena, AR: The Helena-West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority will use DRA funds to rehabilitate a portion of the rail and road systems serving Helena Harbor to enhance the ability of existing business to expand and create new jobs.  This investment is projected to create 15 new jobs and retain 100 jobs. 

DRA Investment:  $528,922

Total Investment: $558,922 

  1. Blytheville Aviation Fuel Delivery System Upgrade | Blytheville, AR: The Blytheville-Gosnell Regional Airport Authority will use DRA funds to upgrade the jet fuel delivery system required by major aviation companies.  This investment is projected to retain 50 jobs. 

DRA Investment:  $182,765

Total Investment: $300,761 

  1. Crawfordsville Water Towers Project | Crawfordsville, AR: The City of Crawfordsville will use DRA funds to repair two elevated water storage tanks to improve services for local residents and businesses.  This investment is projected to affect 114 families. 

DRA Investment:  $206,000

Total Investment: $406,000 

  1. Maynard Water System Improvements | Maynard, AR: The Town of Maynard will use DRA funds to install a cascade aerator and high service pumps to improve services for local residents and businesses.  This investment is projected to affect 187 families. 

DRA Investment:  $57,750

Total Investment: $219,750 

 

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