The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Delta Regional Authority Grants Announced for 2007

Posted on December 27, 2007 at 11:53 AM

We are presenting a copy of the Delta Regional Authority’s recent statement about their grant program below, for your information. It is a useful summary of the program, and as always we wish the DRA all the best in their work for promoting economic development in the eight-state region extending from southern Illinois to New Orleans, Louisiana.


The Delta Regional Authority has announced its grants for 2007. The DRA’s grant program is an integral part of its efforts to improve the lives of those who live in 240 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

“I want to thank those at the local development districts across the region for being our troops on the ground,” said Pete Johnson of Clarksdale, Miss., the DRA’s federal co-chairman. “They’re responsible for ensuring that we receive quality applications each year.”

Once grant applications are submitted by the development districts, the federal co-chairman determines which applications are eligible for funding and which applications are ineligible. There’s an appeals process for those applicants whose submissions are deemed ineligible.

From the list of eligible applicants, the governors of the eight states make recommendations to the full DRA board. The nine-member board consists of Johnson and the eight governors. The board decides which projects are funded based on the amount of money available in the program.

Congress has mandated that transportation and basic public infrastructure projects must receive at least 50 percent of the appropriated funds. The authority’s grants may act as matching funds for other federal and state programs.

The areas of emphasis for funding from the DRA grant program are:

– Basic public infrastructure in distressed counties.

– Transportation infrastructure for the purpose of facilitating economic development.

– Business development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

– Job training with an emphasis on existing public education institutions.

“Our governors do an outstanding job of recommending quality projects to the board,” Johnson said. “These grants allow us to leverage funds from other federal agencies, state governments, local governments and the private sector. I also want to thank the congressional delegations of our eight states for leading the fight each year to ensure these funds are appropriated.”

Congress established the DRA in 2000. Johnson was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001.

The Economist magazine has described the DRA as an agency “mostly staffed by people who live in the region and are eager to see changes. Its express purpose is to coordinate projects with the relevant states and to cut through red tape.”

Johnson said the federal-state partnership provides a unified voice for the region.

“We view ourselves as a regional advocate, planner and coordinator,” he said. “We have numerous programs to improve the lives of the people we serve. We’re working to address the causes of poverty rather than merely treating the symptoms. The creation of permanent, private-sector jobs is the most cost-effective method of eliminating poverty. The public investments we make are necessary to support the needs of private enterprise.”

The grants approved by the DRA board for 2007 are:


  1. $200,000 to the city of Gainesville for the renovation of a wastewater treatment lagoon.

  2. $262,000 to the city of Pine Hill for sewer line replacements.

  3. $81,800 to the Perry County for various water system improvements.

  4. $60,000 to the city of Marion for wastewater system improvements.

  5. $250,000 to the city of Chatom for a wastewater treatment facility.


  1. $300,000 to the Northeast Arkansas Public Water Authority for water treatment and distribution system improvements for Alicia, Hoxie, Walnut Ridge and the surrounding area.

  2. $250,000 to the city of Osceola for water and wastewater system improvements for the city’s industrial complex.

  3. $282,750 to the city of Dermott for improvements to a sewer treatment plant.

  4. $400,000 to the city of Camden for road improvements at Bradley Ferry Road and Opal Street.

  5. $160,000 to the city of Warren for wastewater system improvements.


  1. $154,580 to the Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railroad for improvements needed to meet the needs of local industries.

  2. $150,000 to Fox Meadows to establish an assisted living facility for the low-income elderly in HamiltonCounty.

  3. $18,000 to the Saline County Industrial Development Corp. for GIS mapping.

  4. $19,049 to the Southern Five Regional Planning and Development District to upgrade computer systems needed to administer loans.

  5. $105,000 to the Phoenix Foundation of Southern Illinois for equipment for an outpatient and lab facility in WhiteCounty.


  1. $207,500 to Henderson County to extend sewer lines at the Henderson Airport.

  2. $300,000 to Caldwell County to assist with construction of a 25-bed hospital at Princeton.

  3. $150,000 to Marshall County to extend water lines along Little Cypress Road.


  1. $100,000 to the city of Lutcher for a water intake structure.

  2. $79,975 to the city of Kinder for drainage improvements in the downtown business district.

3.. $150,000 to Allen Parish for Pawnee Road improvements.

  1. $150,000 to Nicholls State University to develop high-speed communications infrastructure.

  2. $150,000 to St. John the Baptist Parish for water plant upgrades.

  3. $150,000 to the city of Gramercy for water system improvements.

  4. $100,000 to the city of Richwood to replace and repair manhole covers.

  5. $78,250 to West Carroll Parish to purchase a GIS system.

  6. $78,250 to East Carroll Parish to purchase a GIS system.

  7. $100,000 to the city of Rayville for water system improvements.

  8. $83,187 to Caldwell Parish for GIS mapping.

  9. $55,000 to the city of Jonesboro for oxidation pond improvements.

  10. $150,000 to Tensas Parish to expand the parish health unit.

  11. $100,000 to the Tensas Community Health Center for land acquisition.

  12. $50,000 to Rapides Parish for GIS system upgrades.


  1. $400,000 to Amite County Medical Services Inc. for construction of a health care facility at Liberty.

  2. $268,843 to the Magee General Hospital to purchase equipment for a surgical suite and laboratory.

  3. $62,500 to the city of Monticello for access road construction.

  4. $165,000 to the Okhissa Lake Sewer District for the installation of sewer lines to additional homes in Franklin County.

  5. $500,000 to the city of Natchez for sewer line extensions to a new prison.


  1. $236,400 to Scott County for road improvements at Sikeston’s business, education and technology park.

  2. $211,871 to the Stoddard County Development Foundation for water line construction.

  3. $128,814 to the city of Lilbourn for a water well project.

  4. $205,701 to the Pemiscot County Port Authority for construction of a railroad spur.

  5. $92,154 to the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center to construct an annex for additional workforce training.

  6. $103,950 to the city of Potosi for sewer and water upgrades to a new health center.


  1. $200,000 to Obion County for a railroad switch connection needed for a new industry.

  2. $200,000 to the city of Gleason for sewer system improvements.

  3. $199,839 to the city of Dresden for sewer system improvements.

  4. $200,000 to the city of Middleton for wastewater collection system pump station improvements.

  5. $200,000 to the city of Adamsville for water treatment plant improvements.

  6. $175,925 to the city of Decaturville for water treatment plant improvements.