April 21, 2020

EDA: $3 Million Invested to Provide Critical Infrastructure Improvements in Tulsa County, OK Opportunity Zone

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million grant to Tulsa County, Oklahoma, to improve critical infrastructure needed to protect businesses from flood damage. The EDA grant, which is located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $750,000 in local investment and is expected to retain nearly 1,560 jobs.

“The Trump Administration is working hard to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and improve economic resilience in the wake of natural disasters, such as the floods that impacted Oklahoma in 2019,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This investment in a Tulsa County Opportunity Zone will support flood prevention infrastructure along the Arkansas River Levee and attract new businesses to the area.”

“EDA plays an important role in catalyzing local business development and disaster resiliency,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Replacing pump stations and updating equipment will provide Tulsa County with the necessary infrastructure to keep impacted businesses in the region, prevent economic losses after flood events, and attract additional private investment in an Opportunity Zone.”

“Last year, our state experienced record flooding that highlighted the critical need to modernize the Tulsa-West Tulsa levee system—including the levee pump stations,” said Senator Jim Inhofe. “These stations ensure rainwater and flood seepage during flood events does not build up on the backside of the levees – an extremely vital function. I’ve kept the pressure on key agencies and today, I am pleased that the Levee District will receive $3 million to modernize two existing pump stations. This funding will go a long way towards repairing and modernizing the Tulsa levees and surrounding infrastructure to ensure the system can continue to protect families, businesses and property for decades to come. The swift consideration of this application shows that the Trump Administration continues to prove investment in Oklahoma infrastructure is a priority.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Indian Nation Council of Governments (INCOG). EDA funds INCOG 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 Oklahoma’s 117 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017Opportunity 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 (PDF) 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.

This post was originally published here.