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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.2 Million to Boost Water System Capacity to Serve Business Needs in Petersburg, Indiana, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.2 million grant to the city of Petersburg, Indiana, to improve and expand its water system to support existing businesses and attract new business. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $2.8 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain nearly 100 jobs and spur $19.6 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is working tirelessly to champion areas around the country that have been adversely impacted by fluctuations in the coal industry,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This EDA investment will provide the water infrastructure Petersburg needs to spur business expansion and growth, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional investment to the region.”

“EDA encourages investment in Opportunity Zones to not only enhance return on investment for business interests, but also encourage the public/private partnerships needed to drive investment to distressed communities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Updated water infrastructure is essential for business development and will attract other transformative investment to Petersburg and Pike County.”

“This collaboration will bring significant upgrades to the water systems of Petersburg,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “I appreciate this investment not only in Indiana’s infrastructure but also in the Hoosiers businesses and families who will benefit from these improvements for years to come.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, 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 under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

The funding announced today goes to one of Indiana’s 156 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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