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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.1 Million to Protect Transportation Routes from Flooding in Altus, Oklahoma, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million grant to the city of Altus, Oklahoma, to make flood-resilient water infrastructure improvements needed to support the transportation needs of the local business community. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $750,000 in state funds.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping American communities obtain the modern infrastructure they need to encourage business attraction and growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide Altus with a water detention pond that will create an alternate trucking route to make the region’s economy more resilient to natural disasters. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will further transform and grow the region’s economy.”

“This Economic Development Administration investment will support a key water detention pond in Altus that will mitigate the effects of flooding on regional transportation routes,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will ensure the Altus Economic Loop can reliably serve passenger and freight traffic during storms, and its location in an Opportunity Zone will provide additional incentive for business investment.”

“Oklahoma is an agriculture state, and flood-resistant infrastructure upgrades in Altus, Oklahoma, made possible by this grant will ensure the city can separate cotton and other agricultural commodity production truck traffic from local business traffic – increasing safety, economic competitiveness and quality of life across the region,” said Senator Jim Inhofe. “I am glad to see EDA award a $1.1 million grant to the city of Altus to make these important infrastructure improvements. This grant is another example of the Trump administration devoting resources to communities that will result in economic activity and job growth.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA), 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.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

The funding announced today goes to one of Oklahoma’s 117 Opportunity Zones. 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 webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

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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