Clarksdale Press Register 

Greenville Gets $7.7 Million for Flooding, Infrastructure

On Thu, 10/22/2020 - 01:30 PM

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Thursday the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a

$7.7 million grant to the city of Greenville, Mississippi, to make sanitary sewer infrastructure improvements needed to keep businesses open in the event of future flooding and spur new business growth.

The effort was applauded by Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith and Representative Bennie Thompson.

The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $8.6 million in local investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to assisting communities impacted by natural disasters advance their locally-developed strategies to build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The repairs and enhancements being made to Greenville’s infrastructure will provide the necessary capacity for the local business community to remain competitive, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will drive new investment to Greenville.”

“This EDA grant will improve the existing sewer system and boost the confidence of Greenville’s business community,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The infrastructure enhancements will support existing businesses, and the Opportunity Zone designation will attract new businesses to Greenville to increase economic resiliency.”

“This grant is excellent news for the City of Greenville and the surrounding areas,” said Senator Roger Wicker. “With this support from EDA, the city will be able to make critical improvements to their wastewater systems to keep existing businesses open and support additional economic growth.”

“Fortifying the basic infrastructure in Greenville to better withstand flooding will allow the city’s Opportunity Zone to flourish as an area that supports business growth, job creation, and more private-sector investment,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “I’m grateful to Secretary Ross and the Administration for putting supplemental appropriations to work in the Mississippi Delta.”

“The funding from this EDA grant is a much-needed investment in Greenville,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS-02). “It will spur economic development, community stabilization, and bring much needed jobs to Greenville, Mississippi.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Delta Planning and Development District, Inc., which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

The funding announced today goes to one of Mississippi’s 100 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report to President Trump.