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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce to Invest $1.95 Million to Make Critical Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements Needed to Support Businesses in Phenix City, Alabama

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.95 million grant to the city of Phenix City, Alabama, to upgrade the city’s only wastewater treatment plant to accommodate new and expanding businesses. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.95 in local funds and is expected to create 103 jobs, retain 88 jobs, and generate $8 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to creating American jobs and business opportunities, especially by way of critical infrastructure improvement,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This new wastewater treatment plant will strengthen Alabama’s economy by providing regional businesses with the resources they need to grow and expand.”

“Strong infrastructure is imperative for economic prosperity because it helps quickly connect customers to businesses,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will assist in attracting new and growing industries to the area, and the project’s location near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help to drive private investment into the region.”

“This $1.95 million grant will bring essential water infrastructure improvements to Phenix City, positively impacting the lives of residents and surrounding communities,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “It is of the utmost importance that we continue to invest in infrastructure projects like this one throughout our state. I am proud EDA continues to prioritize Alabama and look forward to the benefits this will bring to Lee and Russell counties.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lee-Russell Council of Governments, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding announced today will help catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources page here.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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