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ARC awards grants to job-related projects

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) recently welcomed the recent approval of nearly $500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to support jobs-related projects in North Mississippi.

ARC has approved three grants for Mississippi, including funding for projects in Tishomingo and Chickasaw counties. The funding will be combined with state, local and other resources to support ventures intended to create new jobs.

ARC approved the following grant awards:

• Tishomingo County Board of Supervisors – $173,938 awarded to support a $3.8-million infrastructure improvement project at the Yellow Creek State Inland Port at Iuka. The project, supported with other federal, state and local funds, involves construction of a 52,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, site improvements and infrastructure installation to support a metal processing and stamping plant. ARC indicates that the project will support the creation of 50 jobs and leverage $3.3 million in private investment.

• City of Okolona – $74,997 awarded as part of a $149,994 effort to upgrade the fire protection system in a manufacturing plant now occupied by a furniture manufacturer in Okolona. The improvements will support an expansion of manufacturing operations, the creation of 30 jobs and the leveraging of $3.4 million in private investments. Half the cost of this work will be provided by state Community Development Block Grant funding.

• Mississippi Development Authority – $244,538 awarded to support the Mississippi Appalachian Regional Office (ARO) in Tupelo in its mission to work with communities, organizations and individuals to identify projects that ARC can help fund. The state will also contribute $256,037 in cost-share funding to support the Mississippi ARO.

Created by Congress in 1965, ARC is a regional economic development agency incorporating 13 Appalachian states. It works with federal, state and local entities to promote job creation, community development, infrastructure improvements and other projects to improve the quality of life in Appalachia.

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