The Economic Development Administration has agreed to let the City of Hope reallocate a $1.2 million dollar grant previously announced to aid in the development of a cold storage facility to instead go to make improvements to the city's Industrial Rail Spur in the Hope Industrial Park near Oakhaven.

The Economic Development Administration has agreed to let the City of Hope reallocate a $1.2 million dollar grant previously announced to aid in the development of a cold storage facility to instead go to make improvements to the city's Industrial Rail Spur in the Hope Industrial Park near Oakhaven. That announcement was made Friday by the City of Hope and the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.
The entities say the $1.639 million dollar project will directly benefit New Millennium, Hexion, and Georgia Pacific, all in the Hope Industrial Park, who employ more than 400 workers and will indirectly benefit JMS Metals, Inc. and Funder America. The local share of funds for this project is provided by New Millennium, Hexion, Georgia-Pacific, plus a $100,000 contribution from the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.
Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery was enthusiastic about the project and its effect on Hope and Hempstead County, saying, “I’m excited about obtaining this grant. This will give our existing industries that use rail service reliable rail service for future plans as well as help attract new industries that rail service is an integral part of their companies.”
Steve Harris, President of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation noted, “The HCEDC is proud to be a part of this project for the benefit of our fine local industries. Hopefully this will help them remain competitive and continue to grow. A special thanks to SWAPDD (Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District) in Magnolia for their perseverance in obtaining this federal grant for the City of Hope.”
This project will be bid in summer 2018 and should be completed in early 2019. The Industrial Spur connects with Union Pacific Railroad.