MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The cities of Osceola and Wilson will soon collaborate on bringing more grants into Mississippi County after both city councils approved an agreement to operate an intermodal authority.
According to Dickie Kennemore, mayor of Osceola, the South Mississippi County Intermodal Authority will be designed to bring in more state funds to improve the county's modes of transportation in the area.
"We have a vast industrial investment in the city. We have an interstate, railroad, river and we are trying to get a new airport," said Kennemore. "This facility will open up the door for them to get several kinds of grants including federal grants."
Kennemore said this is because the federal government wants to make grants for bigger areas than just small city areas.
"The intermodal facility requires two government entities so we elected to go to the city of Wilson," said Kennemore. "Both of us will benefit with economic development, traffic issues we share and getting a new airport."
Kennemore added having federal grant money for the highway would help the county out a lot.
"We have 2,000 more jobs in the area now so we need to upgrade Highway 198 from 61 through Big River Steel and to the grain elevators to help out the farmers in the area," said Kennemore. "This can also further develop our water public port. This is just an economic development tool for everything. It will help us develop the infrastructure and continue to expand. The only thing that is constant is change. You can change for the better or change for the worse. We are living for changes and continued changes for the better."
Kennemore said now that the entire council is on board with making the intermodal facility a reality, they can now start working to get time-sensitive grants.
"The urgency is that we have a grant we are looking into with the federal government to upgrade Hwy 198 already and we have grants in place to get the airport started," said Kennemore. "The airport grant is for $15 million."
The cities will now hire a director and form a board of members together to oversee the intermodal authority.
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