CATEGORY: Tippah County

AUTHOR: SUMMER

Hed: Grants add $1.1 million to Ripley projects

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

RIPLEY - Ripley is more than $1 million richer with an even brighter economic future after the town received two grants last week.

Mayor Lewis Davis said an $801,700 Community Development Block Grant not only will pay for sewer and water improvements but also will help the town recruit a new industry.

"This is a great day for the city of Ripley and Tippah County to get this kind of money within one week and to also create over 103 to 104 full-time jobs," Davis said of a private corporation planning to move to the area. "And to have a company from out of state come in and invest $6 million in the economy of the state of Mississippi."

Davis said he is 99.9 percent certain that a Minnesota-based company, EcoWater Systems Inc., will locate in the old Bayliner building on state Highway 15 north of Ripley. Representatives from the company were in Ripley last week, he said.

The CDBG money will be used to extend sewer lines and provide water for fire protection to the Bayliner building, which has been empty for about 13 years, Davis said.

At one time Bayliner had planned to operate a components manufacturing facility in Ripley but had never actually started operations, he said. In recent years, the building has been leased to other companies for storage, Davis said.

The sewer and water improvement project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Residential sewer project

The city also received a $300,000 grant last week from the Appalachian Regional Commission. This grant will go toward completion of a residential sewer line expansion project, Davis said.

Applications have been made to other federal agencies for matching funds to extend sewer service lines to about 65 houses in the area of Cotton Gin Road, Freeman Road, Etta Drive and Benson Drive, Davis said. The total cost of this project is estimated at $720,000.

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