Cassidy Announces $2.7 Million in CARES Act Funding for Broadband Access and Infrastructure Development, Wastewater System Improvements

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Sen. Bill Cassidy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.7 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to help the state of Louisiana prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

“Broadband is important for our rural communities to support local businesses and for children to access virtual learning,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This funding for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will strengthen our broadband infrastructure. This funding to upgrade the wastewater system in Thibodaux supports local businesses and allows the local economy to expand.”

“EDA is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “These EDA investments will provide support and resources to help Louisiana combat and recover from COVID-19 and strengthen its economy.”

“We welcome this investment in Louisiana’s economy and the Thibodaux and other communities,” said Senator John Kennedy. “These grants will create new jobs, make long-term infrastructure improvements, and expand broadband access when many Louisianians depend on reliable internet to work and study from home, and I look forward to seeing the impact these resources have for workers and families.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

The city of Thibodaux, Louisiana, will receive a $2 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to make wastewater system upgrades needed to support current and future business needs. The investment will support a myriad of over 700 enterprises in the surrounding area, including government, education, business, and industrial operations, and will encourage additional business growth. The project, to be matched with $500,000 local funds, is expected to create 60 jobs, and retain 225 jobs.

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will receive a $700,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to increase and improve broadband readiness and internet access throughout the state by working in collaboration with the Louisiana Association of Planning and Development Districts and the Governor’s Broadband for Everyone in Louisiana (BEL) Commission. The project is expected to create a more resilient Louisiana through adopting a systemic approach that promotes access to equitable opportunities and resources across the state.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.