WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the city of Hidalgo, Texas, to make critical roadway and drainage repairs needed to improve Produce Road, a major trade gateway. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs ActOpportunity Zone, will be matched with $625,000 in local investment and is expected to create or retain nearly 200 jobs and spur $7.5 million in private investment.
'The Trump Administration is continuing to work diligently to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters, including those located in Opportunity Zones,' said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. 'This project will revitalize Produce Road to ensure that rain drainage will not impact local businesses in the future.'
'The improved Produce Road will feature a new 30-foot wide roadway with a 50-foot right of way and improved drainage,' said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. 'The project will allow Hidalgo and the surrounding region to maintain international trade and commerce by enabling business operations to continue in the event of future natural disasters. The project's location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional private investment and spur further growth.'
'Helping Texans recover and rebuild from natural disasters has been one of my top priorities,' said Senator John Cornyn. 'I was proud to support this funding in the Senate, and I thank President Trump for prioritizing infrastructure in Hidalgo.'
'This investment will ensure that the city of Hidalgo has the infrastructure it needs to weather future storms,' said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15). 'As our local economy confronts new and unprecedented challenges like natural disasters and the coronavirus, the ability to make these important upgrades is all the more important. I will continue to push for additional funds that will empower South Texas to continue being an epicenter for international trade and economic growth.'
'In spite of the health pandemic, which we are all battling, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez continues to monitor and mobilize funding for our communities infrastructure needs,' said Mayor Sergio Coronado, City of Hidalgo. 'Thank you Congressman Gonzalez for all of your assistance in our Economic Development and Community projects and for your continued support of our regional EDA office and staff.'
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC). EDA funds LRGVDC 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.
The funding announced today goes to one of Texas' 628 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department's work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA's Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources page here.
This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA's Disaster Supplemental webpage.
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.