Grant will fund parking lot

Federal funding is being provided to the city of Eupora to promote business development here, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Eupora received a grant of $162,040 from USDA Rural Developments Rural Business Enterprise Grants program to develop a downtown parking area, Vilsack said in a Sept. 14 press release.

The city will use the grant to purchase and pave the vacant lot between Nu-Way and the closed Shellgo store, Mayor Tommy Lott said. The lot, owned by Linda Cooksey, runs from Veterans Memorial Boulevard North (Highway 9) to the alley behind Main Street (North Dunn).

Lott said the 100 percent grant will require no match from the city, and that the public parking lot will benefit area merchants and businesses. The mayor said his intent is to also overlay the alley if bids come in low.

Im real proud of this, he said. This will be good for our downtown area.

Lott, who has worked on the project for 2 years, said he wrote letters to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and 1st District Congressman Alan Nunnelee in support of the RBEG application, which was submitted in 2010.

The Obama administration and USDA are committed to helping rural small businesses grow, and to providing the technical support needed to spark sustainable job creation, Vilsack said of the RBEG funding being provided in 40 states and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico to promote job creation and business development. The funds being provided today will foster an environment to create hundreds of new jobs across the nation.

Trina George, state director of USDA Rural Development in Mississippi, stated in part, When government agencies and private businesses work hand in hand, good things happen in rural America and rural Mississippi.

USDA Rural Development administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. USDA Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers, and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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