DRA approves 2012 budget
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:00 pm
WASHINGTON, DC – The Delta Regional Authority held its annual Quorum Meeting this weekend to discuss the state of the Mississippi Delta region. By statute, the DRA must hold one annual meeting in which a quorum of the Board of Governors is present.
Also at the meeting were DRA staff members and state designees and alternates to the Board. Six of the eight governors, including Gov. Haslam, from the Delta region were present to review the Authority’s programs from this past year and conduct key votes in regards to State allocations.
Chairman Masingill said, “At the end of the day, the Delta Regional Authority is about creating jobs, building communities and improving lives. This is what continues to bring us all together: our commitment to doing these three things for the Delta region.”
Crucial to planning and execution of the 2012 fiscal year, the governors approved the year’s funding allocations for each state. They also accepted the list of those counties and parishes deemed “economically distressed” for the coming year. By statue, at least 75 Percent of DRA Dollars must go into “economically distressed” counties and parishes. For Fiscal Year 2012, four counties and parishes which had been non-distressed the previous year are now classified as “distressed.” Conversely, eight counties and parishes have been upgraded to “non-distressed.”
“We want all of our Delta communities to succeed, and it’s very positive to see several counties and parishes moving off that distressed list,” Governor Jay Nixon, who serves as the Authority’s State Co-Chairman, said. “The mission of the Delta Regional Authority is to help create jobs and grow prosperity throughout our region. The progress of these local communities is a clear sign that the DRA is making a real difference.”
Authority staff reported to the Board on the status of the 63 SEDAP projects that the Authority funded in 2011. Formerly named the Federal Grants Program, the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) focuses on project management, while emphasizing project development connected to other funding sources. SEDAP provides funds and support to projects which enhance economic development activities taking place in the region. In FY2011, SEDAP allocated nearly $13 million to projects in the eight state region.
The governors were also given an update on regional initiatives and federal partnerships which benefited communities across the Delta. For FY2011 almost $3 million was used to support projects throughout the region. Major DRA programs were highlighted in the Authority’s Year in Review publication and key demographics of the region are shown in the Today’s Delta Economic Report. An electronic copy of the Year in Review will be available on the DRA Web site in March, and Today’s Delta will be finalized and released in the region in the coming months.
The Delta Regional Authority is congressionally mandated to identify and provide investment in basic public infrastructure, transportation, workforce development and business development with a focus on entrepreneurship in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta region. Chairman Masingill works closely with the Governors in the eight Delta states to select projects that meet these priorities. The investments come through the DRA’s States Economic Development Assistance Program.
With 45 local Development Districts as front-line project managers and its federal agency funding partners, these investments by the Delta Regional Authority support job creation and community development projects.
From its ten funding cycles, the Authority is helping to create and retain more than 42,000 jobs. Together with its partners, more than $2 billion of investments are coming into the Delta region.