AEDC launches Arkansas Site Development Program

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 49 views 

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) is launching the Arkansas Site Development Program to provide matching funding for site development improvement efforts throughout the state. The program is designed to enhance industrial site readiness and competitiveness for job-creating projects in Arkansas.

Through the Arkansas Site Development Program, eligible applicants can apply for funding to improve qualified industrial sites’ competitiveness for economic development projects. Eligible applicants for the Arkansas Site Development Program are cities, towns, and counties in Arkansas, economic development organizations, and chambers of commerce.

This is the first industrial site development program in Arkansas state history. The Arkansas Site Development Program was developed by AEDC under the leadership of Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. AEDC officials worked with the Arkansas General Assembly on the creation of the program.

“In economic development, having shovel-ready sites is vital for attracting great companies to locate and expand,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The Arkansas Site Development Program will give our local communities the resources they need to enhance their industrial sites and give them a competitive edge for economic development projects in the future.”

To qualify for the program, applicants must submit industrial sites with a minimum of 30 acres of contiguous land, and sites must be listed on the Arkansas Site Selection Database. Sites must be owned or optioned by an applicant, and optioned sites must be owned by the applicant at the time the grant agreement is executed.

Funding through the Arkansas Site Development Program can be used for a range of site development projects. Eligible projects include extension and improvement of public infrastructure to the site; right of way acquisition; easement acquisition; soil borings and analysis; construction costs for site improvements, including drainage improvements, easement, dozer or dirt work, grading, site mitigation, and site rehabilitation; due diligence study costs; and other site development-related activities deemed necessary by AEDC to improve a site’s competitiveness.

Applications for the Arkansas Site Development Program open on Monday (June 10). Applicants must submit their intent to apply for program funding by August 1. The deadline to submit an application is September 2.

Projects will be evaluated on a 100-point scale with seven categories, including site conditions, utilities, transportation infrastructure, site due diligence, current marketing efforts, local funding match, and site certification. The funding awards will be announced in November.