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Posted on: February 11, 2022

U.S. Dept. of Commerce invests $800K in plan redevelopment of former coal power plant site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield will receive an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to conduct planning efforts for the redevelopment of the Lake Springfield area. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities CommitmentIt is the first competitive American Rescue Plan grant to be awarded in the region.

This grant will develop a master plan for the area surrounding the former coal power plant (James River Power Station). The plan will determine the feasibility of various commercial and industrial uses and identify opportunities for recovery in many areas, including recreation, tourism, and new innovative and resilient businesses. This EDA project will be matched by $200,000 in local funds, including:

  • Hatch Foundation $100,000 
  • City Utilities of Springfield $60,000
  • City of Springfield Environmental Services Department $40,000.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding for what will surely become a transformative project in our community. The area has a lot of potential for new amenities for future generations, leveraging the beautiful asset of Lake Springfield and its surrounding nature,” said Jason Gage, City Manager. 

Springfield Lake was identified as an opportunity area during the City’s recent comprehensive planning process, called Forward SGF. “With projects such as the redevelopment of the Lake Springfield area and other iconic projects we are working on to both improve quality of life and stimulate the economy, Springfield is on an upward trajectory,” said Mayor Ken McClure. We are very grateful for this grant.”

The Hatch Foundation is helping to provide funds for the required local match.

 “We see this feasibility study as the beginning of an exciting new initiative, with great potential to increase our community's engagement with the inherent attributes of the Ozarks,” said Executive Director Erin Danastasio. “We believe this can lead to a project to directly enhance our quality of life through interaction with the outdoors, and are thankful for the opportunity to be a partner.”

This project will build upon the regional planning efforts led by the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments (SMCOG). EDA funds in cooperation with City of Springfield Departments of Economic Vitality, Environmental Services, Springfield-Greene County Parks, City Utilities and the Hatch Foundation will bring together to the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.  

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities. 

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides direct support to American communities as they build back better from the pandemic and address a changing economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project is part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment and will provide support as the local economy transitions from the coal industry to new fields.” 

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 For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].

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