The city of Marvell will receive $855,500 from the Delta Regional Authority to strengthen its water and sewer system. The money is part of nearly $26 million in new investments the DRA is making to help improve Arkansas's infrastructure, workforce and economy.

The announcement was made Monday jointly by the DRA, Gov. Asa Hutchinson as well as federal and local-based partners. All total, 15 projects will create or retain an estimated 650 Arkansas jobs.

The city of Marvell will receive $855,500 from the Delta Regional Authority to strengthen its water and sewer system. The money is part of nearly $26 million in new investments the DRA is making to help improve Arkansas's infrastructure, workforce and economy.

The announcement was made Monday jointly by the DRA, Gov. Asa Hutchinson as well as federal and local-based partners. All total, 15 projects will create or retain an estimated 650 Arkansas jobs.

Marvell will use its funding for waste water improvements, primarily to rehabilitate the city's sewer pumps and a FHA housing project rural sewage system, creating or retaining six jobs in the process.

An equally important benefit of the project, says the DRA, will be the reduction in the cost of repairs, energy and upkeep of the rural system. These costs, adds the DRA, are overwhelming the community's utility to the point of requiring a substantial rate increase that will be detrimental to the city's residents.

U.S. Representative Rick Crawford stated, "Quality of life issues remain a barrier to growth for many rural Arkansas communities. Reliable water and sewer systems are absolutely essential upkeep for a town's long term viability. The DRA's investment in water infrastructure will help keep a higher quality of life for several of our towns that struggle to maintain the infrastructure themselves."

Speaking of the complete investment package, DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said, "These strategic investments help us to accomplish our core mission – create jobs, build communities and improve the lives of families across Arkansas. I'm proud to work with all of our partners to invest in the future of the Mississippi Delta region."

Three other DRA investments may also impact Phillips County. The DRA is investing $200,000 Delta-wide to establish a consortium for medical education throughout the Delta. The total investment in the project is $302,500.

The DRA says that it is projected that no fewer than 30 Delta residents will be trained yearly through this community-based clinical education consortium with medical and health institutions each year. This program will also create three new medical education positions in five accredited hospitals as well as make approximately 30 new residency slots and produce 10 new primary care physicians in the Arkansas Delta each year.

Statewide, DRA is investing $119,000 in Restore Hope Delta. The total investment in the project is $1,064,000. This is a joint effort to cut down on the number of children in foster care statewide and to reverse the state's growing trend in incarceration.

Region-wide, DRA is investing $158,000 to strengthen the workforce pipeline. This is a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education and local schools. The EAST Initiative will establish three new EAST program in the Arkansas Delta. The total investment in that program is $375,000.

The investments were made mostly through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program, the agency's main federal funding program. It invests in public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, small business and health access projects in the 252 counties and parishes of the 8-state Delta region.

DRA works directly with the state's 6 planning and development districts in the Delta region of Arkansas to implement the program funding.

"This $26 million investment illustrate our continued commitment to improving the quality of life and driving further economic growth in the Arkansas Delta," commented Hutchinson.