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ARC Makes $1.5 Million Check Presentation for Infrastructure Support for New Mississippi Toyota Plant

August 2007


TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI, August 10, 2007—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced a grant in the amount of $1.5 million to the PUL Alliance today to provide wastewater services to the site of the Toyota automotive manufacturing plant to be built in Blue Springs, 10 miles northwest of Tupelo. The PUL Alliance is a consortium of Pontotoc, Union, and Lee Counties.

The wastewater services project will support the creation of 1,500 new jobs and help leverage at least $500 million in private investment by the Toyota Motor Corporation. The PUL Alliance will provide sewer service to the industrial site by pumping wastewater from the automotive plant to the City of Tupelo's new wastewater treatment plant. The ARC grant will enable the installation of more than 22 miles of force main through the three counties. The PUL Alliance will own the wastewater infrastructure and the City of Tupelo will operate and maintain the system.

Governor Haley Barbour welcomed the ARC grant: "ARC has once again stepped up to the plate and provided critical infrastructure funding to our state to boost our economy. The system being designed will provide not only the infrastructure support that the Toyota plant will need; it will provide support to the anticipated supplier industries that will locate in the vicinity as well."

Senator Trent Lott said, "This grant will ensure that a crucial phase of Toyota's newest plant will be completed in a timely and efficient manner. In addition to improved services provided by this grant, this project will create additional jobs for the area. The ARC's grant to the Pontotoc Union Lee Alliance shows the true scope of this project, not just in Mississippi, but throughout the entire region."

Senator Thad Cochran said that "when Congress created the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965, this is the type of regionally significant work it envisioned. Governor Barbour and others in northeast Mississippi worked extremely hard to attract Toyota to Blue Springs, and it is absolutely imperative that the federal government continues to recognize and support this progress. With this assistance, state and local officials will be able to better accommodate the infrastructure needs of the communities set to experience unprecedented growth as they reap the benefits of Toyota's activity."

Congressman Roger Wicker said that "Toyota is in Mississippi today thanks to a team effort advanced at the local, state, and federal levels. This substantial ARC wastewater grant is another example of the commitment of that partnership to the economic development of the region. It will help the PUL Alliance fill a critical infrastructure need."

ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope noted that this was one of the largest grants that ARC had made in the Appalachian Region this year as well as the first federal money allocated to the infrastructure project. "We believe in the economic potential of Mississippi," Pope said. "The counties of Pontotoc, Union, and Lee coming together to bring the new Toyota plant here shows regionalism at its best. The infrastructure support that ARC is bringing to the new plant will spur further job creation and economic growth in northeast Mississippi."

In addition to ARC funds, the project will receive $14,578,180 in state funding, for a total of $16,078,180.