Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) on Tuesday announced more than $1 million in new DRA investments to strengthen Alabama’s workforce, infrastructure, and economy. DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring $7.1 million in new investment to Alabama.
“The Delta Regional Authority is an essential partner to Alabama in helping us meet the needs of the most rural parts of our state,” Ivey said in a statement. “By investing more than $1 million in our state, DRA is helping rural communities strengthen their infrastructure, improve economic opportunities, and increase access to important cultural enhancements.”
The investments were made through the DRA 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.
“These investments in Alabama align with DRA’s efforts to help create new jobs, support infrastructure improvements and create job opportunities,” added DRA alternate federal co-chairman Peter Kinder. “Our resources will provide sanitary sewer services to rural residents, build community capacity and help attract new businesses to the Black Belt of Alabama. This effort highlights DRA’s ability to build public-private partnerships to invest in the future of the Delta region.”
Below is the complete list of DRA’s Alabama investments:
- CITY OF MONROEVILLE: Industrial Park Building Enhancement. DRA Investment: $256,500. Total Investment: $2,256,500. DRA’s investment will support a new production facility fully equipped with the most modern digitally controlled, special effect and package printing press. 60 new jobs will be added.
- TOWN OF CARROLTON: Sewer System Improvements. DRA Investment: $180,000 (100%). Carrollton will use this investment to address major deficiencies in the town’s wastewater treatment system and improvements will be made to prevent the failure of its wastewater system, address regulatory and compliance issues, and allow the town to provide sanitary sewer service to residents and businesses.
- CITY OF TUSKEGEE: Infrastructure project to attract commercial investment. DRA Investment: $280,000. Total Investment: $1,800,000. This project will advance the area’s economic competitiveness and productivity of the workforce. DRA’s investment will result in the immediate creation of 35 jobs for predominantly low and moderate income persons, promote economic development to increase the city and county tax base and enhance Exit 38 as a gateway to the City of Tuskegee.
- CITY OF CAMDEN: Improvements to Bridgeport Park. DRA Investment: $200,000. Total Investment: $400,000. DRA’s investment will help improve and expand the City of Camden’s infrastructure to support existing economic development initiatives and benefit the local business community.
- CITY OF SELMA: Arts and Culture Development. DRA Investment: $58,424. Total Investment: $133,424. DRA’s investment into the ArtsRevive Community Development Corporation will support advancement of the Carneal Cultural Arts Center. This effort will increase tourism, foster entrepreneurism in the local cultural arts and anchor creative placemaking activities to energize and improve the downtown economic corridor.
- CITY OF CAMDEN: Rural transportation program investment.DRA Investment: $29,328. Total Investment: $146,640. DRA funding will support the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission’s efforts to expand its Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program that provides various transportation needs to low- and moderate-income residents seeking to obtain and maintain employment.
- PERRY COUNTY: Infrastructure Improvements. DRA Investment: $42,000. Total Investment: $2,202,000. DRA’s investment in Perry County will provide safe roads for employees to commute to and from their jobs and maintain the suitability of roads for local businesses, having a positive impact on the local economy. The project will provide full depth reclamation, paving, striping, and traffic markers for 9 miles on County Road 12.
Alabama is one of only eight states to receive DRA investments. The agency’s total investments in the Mississippi River Delta Region and Black Belt of Alabama will reach $20 million in 2017. With contributions from public and private partners, total investments will be $231.6 million.
The state’s congressional delegation welcomed the news.
“This new funding will continue to spur economic growth and opportunities in rural Alabama,” explained U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. “Monroeville, Carrolton, Tuskegee, Camden, Selma, and Perry County, as well as the entire state, will benefit from these investments, and I am grateful for the partnership Alabama continues to have with the DRA.”
“I applaud the Delta Regional Authority for their continued investment in Alabama’s rural communities, including their help funding the enhancement of the industrial park in Monroeville,” Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne said. “These investments will help spur economic development, boost infrastructure, and increase the quality of life for Alabama’s citizens. I pledge to continue working with the Delta Regional Authority and community partners to benefit our state’s communities.”
Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell agreed — the funds are going to make a big impact on rural communities.
“The Delta Regional Authority’s generous investment in the state of Alabama is going to have an immediate impact for our rural communities,” Sewell echoed. “Today’s announcement takes a step towards addressing some of the most pressing issues in rural Alabama, such as infrastructure development and job growth, while also facilitating creative arts programs and boosting tourism.”
“I am pleased to see these economic investments being made – especially in Tuskegee – where good paying jobs can be hard to find,” Alabama 3rd District U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers commented. “Enhancing Exit 38 off of I-85 is a welcomed improvement, and I appreciate DRA investing in East Alabama.”