Delta Regional Authority announces $1.4 million in regional investments

The Delta Regional Authority, DRA, and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, together with their federal and local-based partners, on Oct. 3 announced $1.4 million in investments in the region.

The new DRA investments are designed to strengthen Illinois’ infrastructure, workforce and economy. 

DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring a total of $22.7 million in new investments to Illinois. 

“The State of Illinois is proud to partner with the Delta Regional Authority in job creation, business development and infrastructure improvements,” Rauner said in a news release which announced the investments.

“DRA investments help us ensure that all Illinoisans have the best quality of life possible and access to high-quality, good paying jobs right here in Illinois.”

The investments were made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, SEDAP, the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and workforce development projects.

“This funding will boost communities across Illinois in their mission to spur job growth and create greater economic stability,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

“I will continue working alongside the Delta Regional Authority to ensure Illinois’ communities have access to the critical federal resources they need to thrive.” 

“This funding won’t just help improve the roads and water mains in Southern Illinois, it will also help support local business development, create jobs and modernize health care infrastructure,” said U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. 

“I’m proud to announce these much-needed infrastructure investments to support hard-working families in Southern Illinois and I’ll keep working to improve our infrastructure and transportation systems in every corner of the state.”

“I have long supported the Delta Regional Authority and its mission to create economic stability and spur job growth in Southern Illinois and the surrounding region,” U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said. 

“Targeted investments like those announced today have helped to create and sustain thousands of jobs in the region. I look forward to continue working with DRA to build public-private partnerships and encourage economic development and job creation in Southern Illinois.”

“This support the DRA provides in Southern Illinois is vital to the economic development of these rural communities,” U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., said.  

“The infrastructure investment in Goreville and Eldorado will improve the lives of the residents, and I am pleased to see this support of public and private partnerships.”

Illinois is one of eight states to receive DRA investments. 

The agency’s total investments in the Mississippi River Delta Region and Black Belt of Alabama will reach $20 million in 2017. 

With contributions from public and private partners, total investments will be $231.6 million.

“DRA investments will support infrastructure improvements, business expansion and deliver better health care to Southern Illinois,” said Peter Kinder, alternate federal co-chairman of DRA. 

“These seven projects will help create jobs, build communities and improve lives across Illinois. This effort highlights DRA’s ability to build public-private partnerships to invest in the future of the Delta region.”

DRA Illinois Economic Investments

Here’s a look at the investments in Southern Illinois:

Cairo: Bunge Road Facility Improvements. DRA Investment: $161,560. Total Investment: $178,860. 

DRA’s investment will support road improvements at 34th Street and Commercial Avenue. 

The road is extremely deteriorated and must be repaired to allow employees and customers access to an oilseed production facility. 

The deteriorated roadways create difficult conditions for truck traffic and create safety and liability issues for the oilseed facility, trucking companies and the City of Cairo. 

Cairo: Improved Access for Patients. DRA Investment: $118,489. Total Investment: $130,989. 

Community Health & Emergency Services Inc., CHESI, will strengthen and improve its information technology infrastructure to support an electronic health record system to give patients access to medical records and telemedicine. 

CHESI will add a patient portal that will allow patients to access their own medical records, retrieve lab results, prescriptions and health education, appointment schedules and referrals. 

The system will be available to residents in seven rural counties in Southern Illinois.

Village of Goreville: East Gore Street Improvements. DRA Investment: $105,000. Total Investment: $1 million. 

DRA’s investment helps deliver significant improvements to East Gore Street to support establishment of a new construction supply business and lumber yard within the Village of Goreville.

The project will widen the street and increase load limits to support increased truck traffic for the new business.

City of Eldorado: Water and Sanitary Sewer Improvements. DRA Investment: $206,000. Total Investment: $524,917. 

The city will use DRA funds to relocate water and sewer mains in preparation of Ferrell Hospital’s expansion and modernization. 

The relocation project, in the areas of Maple, Glenwood and Grant streets, is a critical component to support the hospital’s proposed expansion.

City of Benton: Franklin Hospital District Digital Mammography Upgrade. DRA Investment: $140,404. Total Investment: $156,305. 

This upgrade will meet the health  care needs of patients in distressed areas. 

The hospital will modernize its imaging department by replacing the current analog breast imaging system with digital capabilities, an upgrade that is necessary to meet federal, state and American College of Radiology certifications for continued operation and service.

Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Medicine Building. DRA Investment: $113,218. Total Investment: $15,231,457. 

This project will provide educational/job training equipment for a 44,842-square-foot Family Residency and Physician’s Assistant Training Center (SIU Family Practice) that will be built. 

SIU is partnering with Southern Illinois Healthcare on the new training center, which will combat the shortage of primary care providers in the area.

City of Benton: Construction in Rend Lake Conservancy District. DRA Investment: $515,000. Total Investment: $5,460,794. 

The district will build a second discharge pipe from its water treatment plant to add community capacity and allow it to support 170,000 customers in five rural counties. 

This project is funded through DRA’s Community Infrastructure Fund and will maintain proper water pressure for customers and ensure adequate distribution during peak-usage periods.

DRA coordinates directly with Illinois’s planning and development districts for program funding implementation. 

In addition, the agency works closely with Rauner and his board designee to identify projects to receive SEDAP investments, which are aligned with state economic development goals. 

These federal investments require a minimal investment of state funds that are designed to bring a large return in DRA and other agency funding and result in a greater economic impact for Southern Illinois. 

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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