The City of Thayer is the recipient of a half-million dollar grant, awarded by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and made available through the States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP).
The grant will be used to extend the city's water and sewer infrastructure near the intersection of south U.S. 63 and Highway 19 and allow for the future construction of a travel center. Thayer City Clerk Brent Collins told the Quill the engineering portion of the project has been completed, and officials will now begin accepting bids and decide on a contractor for its construction, which is hoped to begin in January.
If all goes well, the project should be finished in April or May, he added. The travel center will be a fueling center on 4 acres at the intersection of U.S. 63 and Highway 19. The city's financial commitment to expanding the sewer and water infrastructure will be about $117,000, in addition to the $500,000 grant.
In total, the Delta Regional Authority awarded over $17.9 million in investments to 46 projects across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee through SEDAP.
DRA officials added that funding for this program was made available, in part, by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden, a key part of his Investing in America agenda to grow local economies from the middle out and bottom up and create more resilient and healthier communities across the country.
The 46 new investment projects will improve basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and support business development and job training in communities across DRA’s region, projected to create or retain nearly 1,100 jobs, train about 2,600 individuals and affect nearly 6,000 families, they added.
“The States’ Economic Development Assistance Program is one of DRA’s most diverse tools that allows us to expand and invest in the resiliency of the region’s public infrastructure and workforce,” said DRA Federal Co-chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “As a result of this investment, nearly 6,000 families will have improved access to infrastructure, helping to improve their quality of life and increase economic opportunities in their communities.”
As one of DRA’s main investment tools, SEDAP provides direct investments for basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, business development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and workforce development. DRA coordinates directly with state governors and local development districts for program funding implementation.