BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards, in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), and local partners announced a combined investment of more than $72 million in increased economic development, workforce training and infrastructure improvements throughout Louisiana's Delta Region.
"This investment comes at a critical time for our state," said Gov. Edwards. "These resources will help create and retain hundreds of jobs, make basic and much needed infrastructure repairs to provide safe and clean drinking water and sewer services to thousands of households, and ultimately brighten the economic future for some of the most vulnerable communities in our state. This is one of the best examples of how public-private partnerships can be used to improve the lives of our people, and I am excited to partner with DRA to bring this assistance to the people of Louisiana."
DRA is investing more than $2.2 million in order to help draw down the combined $72 million in investments that will fund seven new statewide projects.
"Families and communities across Louisiana are hurting, many having lost everything in these troubled waters," said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. "Our hearts and prayers go out to them, but let us also show our love and support with action. These new investments do just that – investing in the state's workforce, infrastructure, and economy. Together with Governor Edwards and our local partners, the DRA is committed to helping Louisiana rebuild and come back stronger than ever."
The investments are made through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency'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 Louisiana's seven planning and development districts in the region for program funding implementation.
The seven projects include the following:
- GO-Biz GROW-Biz: The KD GO-Biz GROW-Biz program will provide multi-stage small business development, education and training and cultivation and capacity building of the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. The DRA investment is $142,103 and the leveraged public-private investment is $17,400.
- Village of Grosse Tete Sewer Pond Rehab: On September 23, 2015, The Village of Grosse Tete STP received an inspection from the Louisiana DEQ finding that the curtain divider for the oxidation pond was damaged and needed to be replaced immediately. This project will provide this replacement. The DRA investment is $174,360 and the leveraged public investment is $20,847.
- Boyce Sewer Capacity for Industry: The project will upgrade the sewer system to support private sector development of approximately $30 million from alternative biofuels manufacturer Sundrop Fuels for a R&D facility. The DRA investment is $150,000 and the leveraged public investment is $30,029,665.
- JAG-LA Expansion Project: The Louisiana Workforce Commission will expand the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program in Louisiana from 69 programs to 101, with an emphasis on assisting the State’s disabled students. The DRA Investment is $250,000.
- Jonesboro Water Well: The south side of Jonesboro has experienced substantial growth which has resulted in a severe shortage of water. This project will construct additional water well to alleviate emergency issues. The DRA investment is $250,000 and the leveraged public investment is $12,500.
- Paincourtville Booster Pump Station: The project will upgrade the Paincourtville Booster Pump Station by adding two new pumps and associated electrical work. The DRA investment is $273,670 and the leveraged public investment is $228,805.
- City of Monroe DRA Water Improvements CenturyLink Village: The project will provide improvements to Century Village & CenturyLink Corporate Headquarters, correcting current deficiencies in the water distribution system and creating 430 jobs. The DRA investment is $1,014,000 and the leveraged public-private investment is $32,967,124.