Press Release
September 26, 2023

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million for Water Infrastructure Improvements to Support Business Expansion in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the city of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, for water infrastructure improvements, including a new municipal well and pumphouse to ensure uninterrupted water service throughout the city.

This project will increase water capacity to service current and future businesses in a region impacted by changes in the energy economy. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds and is expected to retain 1,070 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s Investing in American agenda is delivering critical infrastructure that communities need to thrive,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Oak Park Heights will retain jobs, spur new private investment, and build economic resilience for decades to come.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to partner with Oak Park Heights through this strategic, place-based grant as it seeks to bring new opportunities to the region,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will strengthen the regional economy and keep jobs in the community.”

“Sound water infrastructure is critical to the safety and wellbeing of every community. I am proud to see both national and local investments to improve Oak Park Heights’ water infrastructure,” said Governor Tim Walz. “I am grateful for President Biden and Secretary Raimondo’s commitment to strengthening local communities and retaining good-paying jobs in Minnesota. I look forward to our continued partnership.”

“Improving and expanding water service helps boost economic development and lays a strong foundation for the local economy,” said Senator Tina Smith. “This investment will expand access to clean water for people living in Oak Park Heights and keep jobs in the community. I’ll keep working to secure investments like this one for communities across Minnesota.”

“This grant is fantastic news for Oak Park Heights and Washington County,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04). “This investment will not only improve water infrastructure, but also support a vibrant workforce that is vital to the local economy. Thank you to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for recognizing the importance of increasing water capacity to support our community.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.


  • Assistance to Coal Communities