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Grant Signing Held for Pocahontas Water Project


October 25,2022


Pocahontas­–The city of Pocahontas has been awarded $781,077 from the Delta Regional Authority’s States Economic Development Assistance Program. Awarded funds will be utilized to make much needed improvements to the city’s existing water treatment plant, which will expand the current capacity and affect over 3,000 families. During the grant signing hosted by Black River Technical College, Mayor Keith Sutton detailed the current issue, saying in part “we’re producing our maximum amount of water per day at least four days of the week. Pocahontas is growing tremendously, and quick. We’re about stopped at growth because we currently cannot supply enough water for future industry”. 

According to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Pocahontas has grown nearly 12 percent over the course of the last intercensal period to a population of 7,521. This growth has been accompanied by the city’s largest industrial announcement of the last decade, Peco Foods. The renovation and expansion of the city’s water system will allow for the capacity to serve future industrial prospects and residents. 

Graycen Bigger, Executive Director of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority, says “This project will make sure that we can continue growing. We’re a community that’s been growing for the last 10 years. We’ve seen new industry coming in, new housing, new commercial industry and our biggest issue right now is that we’re out of space and we didn’t have the water resources to continue growing. This funding is really going to allow us to do that and we’re so thankful for the Delta Regional Authority and the City of Pocahontas for partnering with us on this project”.

Local development districts serve as the front-line project managers for all projects funded by the Delta Regional Authority, including the Pocahontas water project. East Arkansas Planning & Development staff works with local officials and the Delta Regional Authority to ensure that projects are completed in a timely manner, consistent with regulatory compliance measures set by federal and state law.

Jeff Morris, Director of Economic & Community Development at EAPDD, stressed the importance of collaboration between local and regional partners saying, “it’s always a pleasure for our team at EAPDD to work with Mayor Sutton and the city of Pocahontas, as well as Graycen and the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority. Collaboration between partners such as what we have here is critical to moving our communities forward. East Arkansas Planning & Development District is dedicated to serving our communities across our twelve-county region and connecting them to much needed resources as provided by our friends at the Delta Regional Authority”. 

East Arkansas Planning & Development District is a non-profit regional planning agency providing grant writing, administrative, and other technical assistance for economic and community development projects across its twelve-county district. Counties served by EAPDD include Clay, Cross, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, and St. Francis Counties. 


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