Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today announced $1.4 million in new DRA investments to strengthen Southern Illinois’ infrastructure, workforce, and economy. DRA’s investments will support public and private partnerships and bring a total of $22.7 million in new investments to Illinois. The investments were made through the DRA States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency's main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and workforce development projects.

“I have long supported the Delta Regional Authority and its mission to create economic stability and spur job growth in Southern Illinois and the surrounding region,” said Bost. “Targeted investments like those announced today have helped to create and sustain thousands of jobs in the region. I look forward to continue working with DRA to build public-private partnerships and encourage economic development and job creation in Southern Illinois.”

“DRA investments will support infrastructure improvements, business expansion and deliver better health care to Southern Illinois,” said Peter Kinder, alternate federal co-chairman of DRA. “These seven projects will help create jobs, build communities and improve lives across Illinois. This effort highlights DRA’s ability to build public-private partnerships to invest in the future of the Delta region.”

Of the seven projects, five are located in the 12th Congressional District:

1. CAIRO: Bunge Road Facility Improvements. DRA Investment: $161,560. Total Investment: $178,860. DRA’s investment will support road improvements at 34th Street and Commercial Avenue. The road is extremely deteriorated and must be repaired to allow employees and customers access to an oilseed production facility. The deteriorated roadways create difficult conditions for truck traffic and create safety and liability issues for the oilseed facility, trucking companies and the City of Cairo. In June, Rep. Bost wrote a letter of support for the City of Cairo’s Bunge Road DRA grant application, which is available HERE.

2. CAIRO: Improved Access for Patients. DRA Investment: $118,489. Total Investment: $130,989. Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc. (CHESI) will strengthen and improve its information technology infrastructure to support an Electronic Health Record system to give patients access to medical records and telemedicine. CHESI will add a patient portal that will allow patients to access their own medical records, retrieve lab results, prescriptions and health education, appointment schedules and referrals. The system will be available to residents in seven rural counties in Southern Illinois.

3. BENTON: Franklin Hospital District Digital Mammography Upgrade. DRA Investment: $140,404. Total Investment: $156,305. This upgrade will meet the healthcare needs of patients in distressed areas. The hospital will modernize its imaging department by replacing the current analog breast imaging system with digital capabilities, an upgrade that is necessary to meet federal, state and American College of Radiology certifications for continued operation and service.

4. BENTON: Construction in Rend Lake Conservancy District. DRA Investment: $515,000. Total Investment: $5,460,794. The district will build a second discharge pipe from its water treatment plant to add community capacity and allow it to support 170,000 customers in five rural counties. This project is funded through DRA’s Community Infrastructure Fund and will maintain proper water pressure for customers and ensure adequate distribution during peak-usage periods.  In June, Rep. Bost wrote a letter of support for the Rend Lake Conservancy District’s DRA grant application, which is available HERE.

5. CARBONDALE: Southern Illinois University (SIU) Medicine Building. DRA Investment: $113,218. Total Investment: $15,231,457. This project will provide educational/job training equipment for a 44,842-square-foot Family Residency and Physician’s Assistant Training Center (SIU Family Practice) that will be built. SIU is partnering with Southern Illinois Healthcare on the new training center, which will combat the shortage of primary care providers in the area.

About DRA:

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. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged more than $3.7 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, and infrastructure development projects. These investments have helped create or retain more than 37,000 jobs, trained more than 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs and provided water and sewer service to more than 66,000 residents since DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov.