July 30, 2014 Edition

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NEARIFA receives grant

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

A $20,000 grant has been awarded to the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority (NEARIFA) to be used for planning and preparation for Peco Foods. The money will be used to help offset the expense of traveling to other communities that have been through the same type of growth expected here with the arrival of Peco, according to NEARIFA Executive Director Wayne Gearhart.

The grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will go to The Delta Center for coordination and planning with the NEARIFA.

Intermodal members will visit other communities served by Peco facilities to see how they planned for the company’s needs and how Peco impacted their communities.

“The visits we make are important,” Gearhart said. “We can learn from mistakes they may have made and what advice they have to give us. I believe we have landed a high quality, top of the line company in Peco.”

Peco’s Northeast Arkansas Processing Plant will be located in Pocahontas, near Shannon on Highway 67, just north of Walnut Ridge.

Gearhart told board members that the Intermodal continues to have ongoing meetings with other prospective employers, including one from Italy and one from Germany.

Board member C.L. Clark of Walnut Ridge said he has seen more economic activity in this area in the last six months than he has in the past 10 years.

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