Helena-West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority officials learned Tuesday afternoon that the harbor has been awarded a little over $257,000 by the Delta Regional Authority to help construct a new water tower at the site.

Helena-West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority officials learned Tuesday afternoon that the harbor has been awarded a little over $257,000 by the Delta Regional Authority to help construct a new water tower at the site.

John C. Edwards, general counsel and economic development officer for Helena Harbor, reported that the DRA investment will be part of a funding package to build a 500,000 gallon water at the Helena site.

“We are currently eight miles from the closest municipal water tower and this distance does not give us the water pressure we need to expand existing and future businesses,” stated Edwards. “A water tower on site will solve this challenge.”

William Quiney, III, president of the board of directors of the port Authority, praised the efforts of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the DRA leadership for their support in making this investment possible.

“We are humbled by the confidence Gov. Hutchinson and the DRA officials have placed in us and we will work hard to continue to earn their trust,” commented Quiney.

Helena Harbor has been working directly with Jacobs Engineering, a world leader in industrial site planning, to develop a master plan. They have received additional assistance from the Walton Foundation.

The plan identified that the need for the completion of an enabling infrastructure, including a water tower and sewer lines, will be critical for future job development and economic growth for the Helena Harbor and Phillips County.

Edwards added that that the final engineering work for the water tower should be completed in early 2018. At that point, the project can be put up for public bid.

The total cost of the water project is in the neighborhood of $2.1 million.

DRA officials noted that once completed, the new water tower would also be accessible to 500 rural residential water customers of the Long Lake Water Association.