Delta Regional Authority announced Thursday, February 23, that the city of Atmore had been awarded a $200,000 grant to help develop the Rivercane Industrial Park, a project that includes the expansion of Huntsville-based Brown Precision to the Atmore area.
The DRA grant is in addition to approximately $1.9 million in EDA grant funds the city received in 2016 for the project. The city also received approximately $1.6 million from the Alabama Department of Transportation for construction of an access road, and other Community Development Block Grant funds for water and sewer lines.
The DRA grant will be used primarily to extend certain utilities through the park and specifically in the vicinity of Brown Precision, a precision machining company with clients in the aerospace and medical fields.
“We want to thank the Delta Regional Authority and the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission for helping to secure these funds,” said Coastal Gateway EDA Executive Director John A. Johnson. “This grant was sort of the last piece of the financial puzzle on this project and we are grateful to the DRA for supporting these efforts.”
Construction has already started in Rivercane on both the site prep for Brown Precision and on a temporary construction access road. The DRA funds will assist with lighting the park and providing for other infrastructure needs.
Brown Precision is expected to eventually employ more than 100 people at its facility in Atmore. The company manufactures close-tolerance parts for aviation, aerospace and medical equipment-related projects.
The grants will be used to fund the construction of an access road – dubbed “Innovation Parkway” after officials solicited names from students at local schools – and the utilities needed to make Rivercane a viable industrial park.
“This is a prime industrial location and an important part of the region’s burgeoning aerospace corridor,” said Johnson. “We are greatly appreciative to the DRA for sharing our vision for what Rivercane can be.”
The Atmore grant was one of three awarded in Alabama. The others went to Frisco City and Tuskegee.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne echoed other officials’ praise for the grant award.
“I applaud the Delta Regional Authority for their continued commitment to supporting economic growth in our local communities,” said Byrne. “The projects in Frisco City and Atmore will help bring new jobs to Southwest Alabama, and I stand committed to continuing to work together with the Delta Regional Authority and our local communities.”
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. Coastal Gateway EDA is a regional economic development partnership representing Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties.