New Infrastructure Improvements to Help Boost Economic Development in Bristol
BRISTOL, RI – Bristol business owners and local officials today joined U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representative David Cicilline to discuss the positive economic impact of a new $2.96 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that will help fund local infrastructure improvements, alleviate future flooding, and boost economic development.
Reed and Whitehouse secured this emergency economic recovery funding in the Fiscal Year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations disaster relief bill.
Earlier this week, Bristol received a $2.96 million EDA grant that will be leveraged with other state and federal funding for a $3.7 million project to install a new culvert (a device to channel water) that will protect businesses from flooding in the Franklin corridor, including those operating in the Bristol Industrial Park.
By preventing future flooding, the project will encourage business growth and expansion and further ongoing economic recovery. According to the EDA and Bristol, the project is expected to help save and create hundreds of jobs.
“This is a smart investment that will help existing businesses grow and attract new industry to Bristol. Making these necessary infrastructure improvements will help create jobs in the short term and spur long-term economic development and growth that will help attract more businesses and provide more employment opportunities,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee.
"These funds will help Bristol continue their flood recovery efforts, boost the local economy with millions of dollars in construction jobs, and lessen the damage Bristolians would face in future disasters," said Whitehouse.
"We have made great strides in repairing the damage and economic harm left in the wake of the 2010 flood, and begun to make the necessary investments to improve our infrastructure - be they culverts, improved roads, and other water and utility systems that will help rebuild our economy and protect Rhode Island from future weather-related damage. These critical improvements in Bristol will help the community retain and create new jobs and strengthen the Bristol Industrial Park and other businesses along the corridor," said Congressman David Cicilline, member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Small Business Committee.
After holding public workshops on its grant process back in March 2011, EDA awarded a total of $15 million to eight projects throughout the state in a competitive awards process. Criteria for the selection of projects included strong local leadership, significant private sector leverage, and a significant number of jobs that will be created as part of the federal investment.
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