U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Friday that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the City of Potosi to upgrade the community’s natural gas line.
According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain more than 60 jobs and generate more than $10 million in private investment.
“Countless towns and cities across the United States are in desperate need of new or updated infrastructure,” said Ross. “Potosi’s new gas infrastructure will help meet the needs of local businesses, while creating new economic opportunities and jobs in the region.”
The governor expressed his appreciation.
“We appreciate Secretary Ross and the U.S. Department of Commerce for their commitment and collaboration in providing assistance to our local communities,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Potosi’s new and upgraded gas infrastructure will better prepare the city to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. Infrastructure projects like these are a huge boost to local economic growth and will further move Missouri forward.”
Legislators said it is a good investment.
“Critical investments in our energy infrastructure pay big dividends in terms of economic growth,” said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. “Potosi put forth a strong case for this project that I was proud to support, and am pleased they received this award which will really go a long way in helping the community.”
“The strength of local economies is directly tied to the strength and reliability of local infrastructure,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “This grant funding will support jobs and pave the way for the completion of a project that’s important to families and small businesses in Potosi.
Blunt said he would keep advocating for programs that improve the quality of life and boost economic growth in rural Missouri communities.
“Potosi’s natural gas lines were installed 50 years ago and are now at capacity and a barrier to further economic development in Washington County,” said Congressman Jason Smith. “I am proud to work with President Trump to invest in rural infrastructure so Missouri can attract new businesses and towns like Potosi are equipped to grow with the booming economy.”
The increased gas main’s capacity will allow existing businesses to expand and attract new businesses to the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds the Meramec Regional Planning Commission 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.