The Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $2.8 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Osceola to make water and wastewater improvements to support the region’s growing steel sector. This EDA grant, to be matched with $955,405 in local funds, is expected to create 100 jobs and generate $2 billion in private investment.
“President Biden is dedicated to creating new opportunities for business and industry expansion as our country builds back better from the pandemic,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Osceola will provide necessary water infrastructure improvements to support business expansion within the steel industry, leading to a stronger regional economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration is committed to supporting communities as they develop targeted economic development strategies in recovering from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide for the installation of force mains in support of a new pump station, increasing the city’s water capacity that will allow the local steel industry to expand.”
“As the steel industry in Northeast Arkansas continues to expand, our infrastructure must keep up,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “This investment in Osceola will help the steelmakers to meet the demand for their product, and it will put a lot of people to work. This is a welcome boost to the region.”
“Funding for this project will expand the capacity of the current wastewater infrastructure while providing sewer service to all existing and future users without any excessive rate increases,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro. “This will enable the steel industry in Mississippi County to continue growing without causing additional strain on the local system. Our steel industry is critical to the Arkansas economy and essential to our national security. I thank Secretary Raimondo for understanding the importance of this pressing issue in Northeast Arkansas.”