New Madrid County receives $100,000 grant
NEW MADRID - New Madrid County will receive up to $100,000 in industrial infrastructure grants under the Community Development Block Grant program by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The funds will be utilized for infrastructure improvements consisting of the construction of weighing scales with mooring dolphins at the New Madrid County Port.
"This is exciting news for New Madrid County and the state of Missouri," said Gov. Matt Blunt, who announced the funding. "I am pleased the state can award these resources to help New Madrid County. Our focus on helping employers and entrepreneurs create and retain good jobs is increasing opportunities for workers and families. This project will have a significant economic benefit for New Madrid County and the surrounding region."
This infrastructure grant will aid New Madrid County in providing public infrastructure improvements needed to assist the development of United Agri Products Inc.'s facility. United Agri Products will create at least $10 million in private investment and 10 new, full-time jobs within two years, according to a news release from Blunt's office.
Timmie Lynn Hunter, executive director for the New Madrid County Port Authority, said the funding would make a big difference for the local slack water harbor, located adjacent to the St. Jude Industrial Park near Marston.
"We are so pleased to get the grant. This is the first Community Development Block Grant the port has received in nine years," she said.
According to Hunter, the Port Authority Board hopes to use this money along with another matching grant to complete the project to improve infrastructure at the port site. She explained mooring dolphins are cells which will hold barges loading and unloading at the port site.
The weighing scales will be for public use. Describing the scales as a real need at the site, she added: "We hope this will create more opportunities to use our docking facilities. We hope this will increase our tonnage, maybe even doubling it."
Currently the New Madrid County Port is home to Riceland Industries.
Industrial Infrastructure Grants assist local governments in the development of public infrastructure, allowing industries to locate new facilities, expand existing facilities and prevent the closing of a facility or the relocation of a facility outside the state. Projects can only be in a "non-entitlement" area - a city under 50,000 in population or a county under 200,000 in population.
Grant funds may be used for public streets, water infrastructure, engineering and other public facilities necessary to support the project. A public entity must own the facilities to be funded.