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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Water System Upgrades to Support New Businesses in Burnsville, North Carolina

Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3 million grant to the town of Burnsville, North Carolina, to help diversify the local economy and create new jobs by extending water and sewer service to a new greenhouse lettuce growing facility. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will provide added water and sewer system capacity to support the establishment of new businesses in a region impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.3 million in state and other federal funds and is expected to create 100 jobs and generate $86 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting communities as they work to create economic opportunity and build a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the water and sewer service capacity that businesses in Burnsville need to grow and create new jobs.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide critical infrastructure upgrades that are needed to spur diversified business growth in a coal-impacted region of North Carolina.”

“This new greenhouse will strengthen water and sewer infrastructure and bring good paying jobs to the Burnsville area for years to come,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We’ll continue working with the federal government to strengthen the rural workforce across our state.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the High Country Council of Governments (HCCOG). EDA funds HCCOG to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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