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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Make Critical Water Infrastructure Improvements Needed to Support Business Expansion in Durant, Oklahoma

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the city of Durant, Oklahoma, to make critical water infrastructure improvements needed to support business expansion in the region. The investment will bring new growth to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act-designated Opportunity Zone and, according to grantee estimates, is expected to create 73 jobs and spur $12 million in private investment.

“Outdated infrastructure has shackled the economic growth of countless communities across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will help attract new development to an Opportunity Zone as established by the President’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, revitalizing an underserved area of the country.”

“I know how important this waste water treatment facility project is for the long-term economic stability of Durant and the southeast Oklahoma region,” said Senator James Lankford (R-OK). “Durant remains a leader in our state for creating jobs, welcoming new businesses, and promoting innovation. I look forward to Durant’s continued prosperity and attention to long-term infrastructure issues that might hurt the community or hinder growth. I offer my congratulations to the city on your hard work and diligence toward success through the federal grant process.”

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to deliver unparalleled economic benefits and record job growth by providing new opportunities for investment in rural America,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin. “This infrastructure improvement project will bring vital jobs and resources to Southeastern Oklahoma. I am proud to be a part of moving this record-breaking economy forward and ensuring hardworking Americans are the ones reaping the benefits.”

This investment funds wastewater infrastructure improvements needed to support continued economic growth in Durant. The project will reside in two Opportunity Zone census tracts and will result in the increased water capacity needed to help local businesses expand and attract new private investment to the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Oklahoma Development Authority. EDA funds the Southern Oklahoma Development Authority 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.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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