MONTGOMERY— Gov. Kay Ivey has announced a $150,000 grant to improve infrastructure in Oxford, leading to new development and jobs.
The city will use funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission to provide water, sewer services and road development to pave the way for several businesses to locate near the intersection of Interstate 20 and Alabama Highway 21. Gov. Ivey earlier awarded a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant for the project.
The new businesses: Big Time Entertainment, Mangos Cantina and Grill, and Planet Fitness will mean 71 new jobs for the area and provide infrastructure improvements that will help the city attract additional businesses.
“This area of Interstate 20, ideally located between Birmingham and Atlanta, is heavily travelled and ripe for development,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to announce this grant that will help provide jobs and produce revenue for the city of Oxford.”
Big Time Entertainment will consist of two buildings on a 5-acre site off Elm Street and will house activities such as bowling, laser tag, mini golf, a go-cart track and other entertainment venues along with a restaurant. Mangos Cantina and Grill will locate in the former Outback Steakhouse building on Tower Road while Planet Fitness will locate across Elm Street from Big Town Entertainment.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers both the ARC and CDBG programs in Alabama.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission and Community Development Block Grant programs often work hand in hand to enable Alabama communities to take full advantage of economic opportunities,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I am delighted that ADECA can play a role in projects that improve lives in our state.”
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Calhoun County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.
Contact Jim Plott or Mike Presley