POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Several communities across Region 8 received thousands of dollars from the state Thursday, according to a news release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The state awarded grants totaling nearly $14-million-dollars to eight towns, including Pocahontas.
According to Mayor Frank Bigger, Pocahontas received $202,250 for drainage improvements that hope to improve flood prevention to areas around the Robil Addition and areas south of Highway 304.
In April, 2011, the levee along the Black River ruptured in two places, creating a widespread area of flooding weeks after the heavy rains. The same waters forced the Randolph County Jail to evacuate prisoners.
According to Bigger, the grant money will be used to widen the levee, install pipes and backflow preventers, and build the levee to the same height as the levee maintained by the county's levee district. Bigger said the city levee would need to be raised by roughly two feet.
Bigger said the city council will take bids for the project. He hopes that construction of the project starts in mid-September.
Other communities awarded projects by the AEDC include:
- Tuckerman: $216,000 to expand a building housing the city's food pantry
- Beedeville: $216,000 for street repairs
- Brinkley: $162,100 for drainage improvements
- Evening Shade: $92,922 to purchase and install a generator at a community shelter
- Wilmot: $200,300 for drainage improvements
- Saline County: $89,430 to install a kitchen at the ICAN! Arts and Resource Center
- White County: $216,000 for a children's safety center for abused children