Grants will go towards nine infrastructure projects in multiple Mississippi counties in the Appalachia region.

On Friday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) celebrated the award of $7.7 million for nine infrastructure projects in multiple Mississippi counties in the Appalachia region.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) approved the grants, which are designed to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. ARC is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region.

“ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia,” their website states.

The nine grants for Mississippi include:

  • NorthStar Industrial Park Site Development Project, Oktibbeha County – $2,719,102 to support construction of an all-weather 2,300-linear-feet road, stream and wetland mitigation, and other site work to prepare the park for tenants.
  • West TVA Road Improvement Project, Clay County – $1,340,000 to support reconstruction of 1.12 miles of West TVA Road to support livestock and agribusiness growth.
  • Industrial Training Facility-Scooba Campus Project, East Mississippi Community College – $1,000,000 to support construction of a new 28,500-square-foot facility to prepare workers for the manufacturing and industrial service sectors.
  • Industrial Multi-Modal Barge, Rail and Material Handling Improvement Project, Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority, Iuka – $1,000,000 to support construction of an 80-linear-foot extension of the existing 40-linear-foot crane support platform, construction of a new rail transloading site at the termination of the Norfolk Southern rail spur to the Port, and construction of a new metal building for dry storage.
  • Emergency Well Replacement, Town of Ecru – $525,000 to support drilling a higher-capacity water supply well and distribution lines to replace a failed well dating from 1964.
  • MSU Autonomous Off-Road Vehicle Probing Ground Project, Mississippi State University – $375,000 to support development of infrastructure for autonomous off-road vehicles in order to develop workforce skills in alignment with the needs of Industry 4.0 careers.
  • Jimmy Beckley Industrial Access Road Improvement Project, City of Bruce – $374,575 to support upgrades to approximately 0.61 miles of road, including repairing sections with base failure, overlaying/striping, and erosion protection.
  • Industrial Access Road Improvement Project, Town of Belmont – $300,000 to support upgrades to approximately 750-linear-feet of an industrial park access road by providing two 12-foot-wide paved lanes with 4-foot shoulders to improve truck access.
  • Med-Lift Industrial Building Improvement Project, Town of Calhoun City – $98,000 to support the renovation of an industrial building, including new roof and lighting, interior wall removal, roll-up door replacement, and HVAC system repair.

Senator Wicker said strong infrastructure is essential to a healthy economy, especially in places like Mississippi.

“These projects will directly support job creation and business development that will help these areas grow for years to come,” Wicker added. 

Senator Hyde-Smith stated that new or improved infrastructure is essential to rural counties across Mississippi as they work on local developments.

“These Appalachian Regional Commission investments will help spur and strengthen economic growth by leveraging local resources to better serve rural Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith continued.