From the U.S. Department of Commerce
Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank announced $6.9 million in Economic Development Administration disaster grants to several Arkansas cities including Clinton and Fairfield Bay.
Also in line for money to rebuild critical infrastructure damaged by severe storms and flooding in 2011 are Heber Springs, Stuttgart ands Mid-South Community College in West Memphis. Funding will also benefit the Little Rock Port Authority in Little Rock, helping it expand facilities and attract new business in a competitive global market.
The six grants will “help Arkansas communities recover from flood damage and rebuild infrastructure crucial for strengthening the local economy and creating jobs,” Blank said.
In Clinton, an EDA grant of $1.4 million will help rebuild and upgrade the city’s water treatment facilities, which were severely damaged by floods in 2011. These improvements will help increase economic activity for the area surrounding Greers Ferry Lake, an economic driver for the north central region of Arkansas, and will help revitalize the employment base in the region, the agency said.
In Fairfield Bay, an EDA grant of $1.1 million will help fund repairs to the Fairfield Bay Conference Center and the rebuilding of West Cliff Drive, the main thoroughfare for an adjoining 400-slip marina. Both suffered major damage from storms and flooding in 2011. The repairs will help restore this tourism and recreation facility, which is a major driver of the local economy, to full operation, according to a news release from the agency.
In Heber Springs, a $1 million grant will help fund repairs to the city’s water treatment plant, which experienced high turbidity spikes and sedimentation in its water supply as a result of runoff caused by floods in 2011. An upgraded filtration system will increase the city’s treatment capacity, allowing it to better meet current and future needs of the region’s residents and businesses.
The other grants are: $1 million for Stuttgart to help fund repairs to flood-damaged Hartz Road, a major access route into the Stuttgart East Industrial Park; $1.5 million for Mid-South Community College in West Memphis to help construct the Mid-South Aviation and Manufacturing Training Facility; and a $960,000 EDA public works investment in the Little Rock Port Authority to help fund construction of the Arkansas River Resource Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will provide new marketing opportunities for the port.
These projects, with the exception of the Little Rock Port Authority grant, are part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.