A Missouri city wins $800,000 to revitalize by repurposing, renewing & reconnecting site of defunct coal-fired power plant on lake

On February 10, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will award an $800,000 grant to the city of Springfield, Missouri.

The funding will be used to conduct planning efforts for the redevelopment of the Lake Springfield area.

The goal is to create a master plan for revitalizing the area surrounding a former coal power plant.

The effort will determine the feasibility of various commercial and industrial uses and identify opportunities for recovery in many areas, including recreation, tourism, and new innovative and resilient businesses.

This EDA project will be matched by $200,000 in local funds.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides direct support to American communities as they build back better from the pandemic and address a changing economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.

This project is part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment and will provide support as the local economy transitions from the coal industry to new fields. This project will ultimately lead to the creation of a resilient economy that will support the community long into the future by bringing in business and creating good-paying jobs for Missourians,” she added.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments (SMCOG). EDA funds SMCOG 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 EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities.

The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic revitalization 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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

This $800,000 grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector.

Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.

Photo courtesy of Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois.

See Economic Development Administration website.

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