The Delta Regional Authority has announced a $3.2 million investment in eight projects aimed at improving water and sewer systems in northeast Arkansas.
The money comes with $7.1 million in matching funds and will be followed by an additional $45.8 million in leveraged private investment in the Arkansas Delta, the DRA said in a news release.
The projects are expected to create or help retain 516 jobs in total.
The largest portion of funding went to industrial sewer improvements in Osceola, where U.S. Steel anchors the region's booming steel industry, and other manufacturers including electric vehicle maker Envirotech have plans to set up shop. The DRA, a federal-state partnership, contributed more than $1 million to a total investment of $5.7 million, while another $40 million in funds came from private capital. Osceola will use the money to upgrade the Country Club Road Lift Station with a larger, adjacent pressurized sewer pipe to prevent further environmental issues in the system.
The investment follows a $2.8 million CARES Act grant that Osceola received in October to make water and wastewater improvements to support the region's growing economy.
The second-largest portion of the DRA money went to the Helena Harbor Surface Transportation Improvement Project. More than $745,000 will be used to pave a portion of Helm Road at Helena Harbor that is still gravel. Additional capital amounts to $1.5 million.
The other projects that received funding are:
- Extending the sewer lines in Mountain Home to provide four current businesses, a new fire station, and anticipated future development access to the city sewer
- Replacing a main drainage culvert under an access road at the Stuttgart Municipal Airport
- Adding of a water storage tank in the city of Colt, and improving the existing water storage tank
- Constructing a parking lot for the Newport Information Technology Training Center
- Raising the top bank elevation of the Bald Knob Wastewater Treatment Plant equalization basin to prevent overflow and avoid a levee breach
- Extending the McCrory sewer system to the DeltARK facility located at the furthest northwest corner of city limits
The funds are provided by the DRA's States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, and its Community Infrastructure Fund.
“Investing in the basics of infrastructure will help create and retain jobs, boost business and lead to economic development," Gov. Hutchinson said in a news release. “The Delta Region of Arkansas is full of history and potential and this investment will enhance the lives and increase the possibilities in the Delta.”