Delta Regional Authority announces more than $4 million in investments

The Delta Regional Authority, together with its federal and locally-based partners, on Dec. 13 announced more than $4 million in new investments aimed at strengthening Illinois’ infrastructure, workforce and economy.

Specifically, DRA will invest more than $800,000 in supporting Southern Illinois’ entrepreneurial ecosystem, upgrading and repairing road and water infrastructure in Hardin County and Evansville, as well as purchasing equipment to train local workers on engine systems.

“These strategic investments help us accomplish our core mission: create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of families across Illinois. Investing in critical infrastructure may not be glamorous to some, but they are essential in our region’s effort to attract and keep global companies, skilled workers, and leading entrepreneurs,” DRA chairman Christopher Masingill said in a news release. 

“I’m proud to work with all of our partners to invest in the future of the Mississippi Delta region.”

“Illinois has the best location and the best workforce of any other state in the nation,” Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said. 

“Our innovators and entrepreneurs are pushing Illinois’ economy forward. Investments like this will help spur growth and innovation for Southern Illinois and throughout our state. We hope that through projects like this, more businesses can grow and create a more competitive economy here in Illinois.”

“The residents of Illinois’ Delta region understand the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure, whether that be our roads, bridges, water, or workforce. Today’s funding will help pay for much-needed upgrades that spur job growth and create economic stability,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois. 

“I will continue working alongside the Delta Regional Authority to ensure Illinois’ communities have access to the critical federal resources they need to thrive.” 

“This critical funding doesn’t just strengthen Southern Illinois’ infrastructure, it invests in our people. I am confident that these investments will help grow jobs and give our municipalities the capital they need to expand economic opportunity.  I look forward to continuing my work with the DRA and officials at the federal, state, and local level to put jobs first,” U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said.  

DRA Illinois Economic Investments

Harrisburg: Purchase of Diesel Training Engines for Southeastern Illinois College. DRA Investment: $47,303. Total Investment: $167,303. Southeastern Illinois College will purchase two diesel training engines with after-treatment to train diesel technology students and incumbent workers on complex diesel systems. This investment will impact all five counties within the college district.

Carbondale: Strengthening the Regional Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. DRA Investment: $159,312. Total Investment: $199,249. The investment in the Southern Illinois Research Park will help grow and strengthen the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Hardin County: Upgrade Hospital Access Road. DRA Investment: $100,123. Total Investment: $110,718. Hardin County General Hospital will upgrade the hospital’s access road and construct an expanded parking area and drive lane for increased capacity for the hospital and clinic. Through four participation agreements, 147 full-time jobs will be retained. 

Evansville: Waterline Replacement and Repair of Broad Street. DRA Investment: $180,000. Total Investment: $206,060. The investment will repair water infrastructure and resurface parts of the street from Liberty Street and Broadway to Church Street. The waterline repair and additional parking will provide businesses better access for grain trucks and improved relations between the Village and the Gateway Farm Services Co.

Sesser: Extending Water Main. DRA Investment: $67,263. Total Investment: $74,763. The multi-phase water main project will repair and extend six water lines for remediation of immediate and present threats to public safety. The project will include additional fire hydrants and increase the ability to provide fire protection services. Phases IV and V will directly benefit 10 households and approximately 30 people.

Du Quoin: Lift Station to Serve Rea Clinic and Fairground. DRA Investment: $214,861. Total Investment: $3,238,040. Du Quoin will replace and restore major components of the Grant Way Lift Station and enable the city to support the continued development of the entire area. The Du Quoin Fairgrounds is a regional tourist attraction and makes an annual economic impact of $8 million.

Dowell: Complete Flood Plain Remapping. DRA Investment: $10,000. Total Investment: $10,000. The City of Dowell will complete flood plain remapping. 

Grayville: Extend Industrial Park Road to Locate Two New Businesses. DRA Investment: $59,807. Total Investment: $59,807. The City of Grayville will extend Industrial Park road to locate two new businesses.

The investments were made primarily through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program.

The program is the authority’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development and small business and entrepreneurship and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. 

DRA coordinates directly with the states’ planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation. 

DRA leadership works closely with the governor of each state and his board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals. 

These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that can bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a great economic impact for the Delta region.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. 

To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged $138 million in federal resources into more than $2.9 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers and infrastructure development projects. 

These investments have helped create or retain more than 26,000 jobs since the DRA was established.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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