June 17, 2009 Edition

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$239,000 awarded to Hoxie

Gretchen Hunt

U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and U.S. Rep. Marion Berry have announced that the City of Hoxie will receive $238,939 in Rural Development funds from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The funding will be used to construct water and sewer line extensions to provide services to a 134-acre commercial development area.

"This assistance will help provide critical water infrastructure improvements for the residents of Hoxie, while also strengthening the local economy," Lincoln said. "I'm pleased to see our federal government make this investment in our state, and I remain committed to ensuring that Arkansas receives the funding and resources we need to stay strong."

Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts said the extension will pick up where the city's services stop, behind the Sears store on the Highway 63 Bypass and continue across County Road 701 (Owl City Road) from Cox PowerSports. A lift station will be located behind the Kawasaki dealership.

Cox PowerSports is the only existing business on the extension, but Roberts said the city hopes to see future development along the bypass with this extension of services. Land owned by the Coxes, as well as the Reithemeyers and Wilson Schmidt is included in the extension area.

"In this harsh economic climate, many communities are struggling to keep businesses open and attract new companies," Senator Pryor said. "These federal funds will build critical infrastructure for the City of Hoxie's commercial development area, bringing new businesses to the community and creating good-paying jobs for its residents."

Roberts said the city was fortunate to get a 100 percent grant, meaning no match will have to be provided by the city.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure.

"Strong water infrastructure is essential for economic growth and development in rural communities like Hoxie," Berry said. "This grant is one of many steps we must take to attract businesses, create jobs and strengthen our rural communities."

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