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EDA Awards Grant For Hillsboro Water Project

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross along with Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Roger Williams announced Thursday, October 5, that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.4 million grant to the City of Hillsboro.

The money will be used to make water infrastructure improvements to serve the industrial park in North Hillsboro.

According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 240 jobs, retain 265 jobs and generate $100 million in private investment.

The city and Hillsboro Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) staffs working with the Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG)_have been working the past six months to secure the grant, which requires a $600,000 match provide by the HEDC Board of Directors.

The money will be used to extend a 16-inch water line to the HEDC’s 300-acre tract on Highway 81 that was purchased a number of years ago for future industrial development.

In addition, the aging water line that currently runs from the West Elm Street ground water storage tank to the industrial water tower will be replaced. The new 12-inch line will run from the downtown tower to the industrial tower.

The EDA project is part of an overall effort by the city and HEDC to improve water pressure and volume in the industrial park to serve current and future development. The cost of each of the lines has been estimated by engineers at $1 million.

 A $2.4 million application is currently pending with the Texas Water Development Board to finance a new 500,000 gallon elevated water storage tank and upgrade eight-inch water lines to 12-inch lines along Spur 579 and Morrow Drive in the industrial park to complete the overall project, according to City Manager Frank Johnson.

“We are very pleased to receive this grant. It will allow the city to replace some aging infrastructure and provide new infrastructure to support the development of the industrial park,” Johnson pointed out. 

Ross pointed out, “President Trump has made clear the need to drastically improve infrastructure across the United States.

“Through this project, the City of Hillsboro will not only significantly improve its capacity to retain and recruit businesses but also will create jobs for hundreds of residents.”

The project addresses water pressure and volume deficiencies that impact the industrial park's ability to maintain existing businesses and attract future employers.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG). Dorthy Jackson, manager of community and economic development, will administer the grant.

EDA funds HOTCOG to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

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