ARC grant to aid storm-tossed city, county

SMITHVILLE — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has approved a $350,000 grant for the construction of a facility to support jobs in Smithville and Monroe County, whose economic base took a hit when a massive EF-5 tornado ripped through the region in April.

The $350,000 grant from ARC will be combined with $265,800 in state funding to construct a 38,400-square-foot building in Smithville to support the return of furniture manufacturing to the devastated town. Monroe County would own the facility, which would also be accessible to additional potential tenant companies.

“These Appalachian Regional Commission resources are part of a coordinated public and private effort to get Smithville back on its feet. The goal of this construction project is to rebuild a community by restoring opportunities for companies and the jobs they offer to return to this area,” Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

ARC estimates that this project is expected to create 80 new jobs, retain 120 existing positions and leverage $100,000 in private investments.

In addition to the construction of the prefabricated metal building, the ARC funding will also support utility infrastructure requirements.

Cochran and and Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) serve, respectively, on the Senate and House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees which set federal funding levels for ARC.

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