Arkansas' economic boost: $8.4 million in grants awarded to 17 cities and counties

Grants totaling $8,478,624 were awarded to 17 Arkansas cities and counties by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

By Kylon Williams

Grants totaling $8,478,624 were awarded to 17 Arkansas cities and counties by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

These grants come as part of Arkansas' $17.8 million FY 2023 formula grant allocation and will fund non-housing public facilities and public infrastructures projects.

These are funds created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant State Program for Small Cities.

“When the federal government works right, in coordination with state and local experts, the results can be fantastic. The Community Development Block Grant program is a great example of state and federal collaboration,” said Governor Sanders. “This year’s seventeen recipients come from all across our state, from Garland City in the southwest to Peach Orchard in the northeast. Each one of these grants advances our administration’s priorities of improving our education system, investing in workforce readiness, and ensuring that every Arkansan has access to safe and clean drinking water.”

These funds were awarded to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant Program.

The Housing and Community Development Act was enacted by Congress in 1974 to provide funding to communities across the country to address infrastructure, economic development, housing, disaster recovery, and other community needs.

“Across Arkansas, there are thriving communities that are laying the foundation for future economic success and improving the lives of their citizens,” said Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The Community Development Block Grants help local communities to strengthen that foundation to provide excellent quality of life and a great business environment for companies.”

Since its inception in Arkansas in 1983, the CDBG program has sponsored 2,390 projects benefitting more than 5.16 million Arkansas for a total of more than $900 million.

These awards have been used to establish and enhance projects like senior centers, public health facilities, youth centers, residential water and wastewater, street curb, gutter, sidewalk, or storm sewer, and flood and drainage.

Funding is also used to aid in economic development through the expansion of jobs in the state.

These awards are annually, with the funds going to communities with low and moderate income.

“The Community Development Block Grant remains one of the most important grant resources for the State of Arkansas and local governments and their non-profit and other partners to utilize in designing flexible solutions to meet community development needs,” said Jean Noble, director of AEDC’s Grants Division. “We are proud to recognize the awardees for their hard work and dedication to addressing their highest priority community needs and administering these funds effectively back in local cities and counties. We look forward to partnering on these successful projects!”

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