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Grant announced to revamp Petersburg’s water system

City leaders hope for it to be built by 2022
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:22 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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PETERSBURG, Ind. (WFIE) - Millions of dollars will be dedicated to a new water system in Petersburg.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Wednesday the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.2 million grant to the city to improve and expand its water system to support existing businesses and attract new businesses.

Petersburg has the second oldest water treatment facility across the state. It was built in the 1930s.

There have been improvements over the years, but this grant will allow them to finish all phases on the new project at the same time.

“And that is what is so critical for this community, not only our current citizens that are current water customers,” Petersburg Mayor Robert Alipsch said. “But as far as expanding out in the I-69 corridor where we are working on with the Southwest Indiana Megasite. As they mentioned earlier, there are 8,000 acres we’re working on and trying to develop.”

The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $2.8 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain nearly 100 jobs and spur $19.6 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is working tirelessly to champion areas around the country that have been adversely impacted by fluctuations in the coal industry,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “This EDA investment will provide the water infrastructure Petersburg needs to spur business expansion and growth, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional investment to the region.”

The mayor says the city’s water system will double capacity right away and the design allows it to double again if necessary.

We’re learning bids will likely go out in the spring of 2021 with hopes the new facility will be finished in 2022.

“So we hope that the next time I hear about Petersburg, it’ll be that you’ve filled up the 8,000 acres with businesses,” Ross added.

Watch the full announcement in the video below:

“EDA encourages investment in Opportunity Zones to not only enhance return on investment for business interests, but also encourage the public/private partnerships needed to drive investment to distressed communities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Updated water infrastructure is essential for business development and will attract other transformative investment to Petersburg and Pike County.”

“This collaboration will bring significant upgrades to the water systems of Petersburg,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “I appreciate this investment not only in Indiana’s infrastructure but also in the Hoosiers businesses and families who will benefit from these improvements for years to come.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission, which EDA funds 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.

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

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