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Delta Regional Authority invests $1.4 million in local economy

Submitted by state Sen. Dale Fowler
updated: 10/4/2017 9:48 AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Southern Illinois will benefit from $1.4 million in new investments by the Delta Regional Authority that state Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) says will boost regional infrastructure, the local workforce and the economy.

The investments by the DRA will support public and private partnerships, bringing to Illinois an estimated $22.7 million in new investments, Fowler said.

"This is a tremendous partnership between the state of Illinois and the Delta Regional Authority that will benefit not only Southern Illinois through increased business growth, greater employment opportunities and improvements to local infrastructure, but the impact of this investment will extend throughout the entire state," said Sen. Fowler, who also worked with the DRA when he was mayor of Harrisburg. Fowler graduated from the DRA Delta Leadership Institute in 2009 is currently a member of the DRA Delta Leadership Network.

According to the DRA, the investments will be directed to seven projects intended to spur job growth, contribute to community revitalization efforts and provide better health care services for Southern Illinois.

"This investment from the Delta Regional Authority is vital to southern Illinois and particularly those residents living in rural communities throughout the region," Fowler noted. "However, the impact of this partnership and support from the DRA is far-reaching -- there is no doubt this investment will improve the lives of residents throughout Illinois."

DRA Illinois economic investment projects include the village of Goreville and East Gore Street improvements. The cash investment is $105,000. Total investment is $1 million.

The project helps deliver significant improvements to East Gore Street to support establishment of a new construction supply business and lumber yard within the Village of Goreville. The project will widen the street and increase load limits to support increased truck traffic for the new business.

The DRA noted that the investments were made through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), which is the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and workforce development projects.

According to a statement from the DRA, the agency coordinates directly with state planning and development districts to implement the programs. In addition, the agency also works closely with the Governor 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 greater economic impact for Southern Illinois.

The DRA also noted that Illinois was one of eight states to receive DRA investments. The agency's total investments in the Mississippi River Delta Region and Black Belt of Alabama will reach $20 million in 2017. With contributions from public and private partners, total investments will be $231.6 million.