Mike Beebe, Others Mark 40th Anniversary of Block Grant Program

Gov. Mike Beebe and officials with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission on Monday are marking the 40th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant program.

A ceremony took place Monday morning in the Governor's Conference Room at the state Capitol.

"Most economic development begins at the local level, and the Community Development Block Grant program has helped change lives throughout Arkansas communities for 40 years," Beebe said. "It has helped our cities and towns build and maintain the infrastructure they need for better economic conditions, one grant at a time."

The program was created by Congress in 1974 and has provided more than $700 million to Arkansas communities for projects such as community centers, street repair, wastewater systems, local museums, homeless shelters, childcare facilities and libraries.

Projects highlighted during Monday's event included the McGehee Japanese American Internment Museum; the Mulberry AVS Edamame facility; and the Mississippi County Union Rescue Mission.