Monticello breaks ground on rail spur

MONTICELLO — Ground was broken here Tuesday on a project to extend a railroad spur into the Monticello Economic Development Industrial Park.

Officials with the Delta Regional Authority and the city took part in the ceremony for the rehabilitation of the existing rail and extension of the spur by 330-feet into industrial park to help the city retain and attract industry into the area.

The authority is providing $275,000 for the project to increase access into the industrial park.

“Expanding access to rail for the industrial park in Monticello will allow for new jobs and industrial growth here in Southeast Arkansas,” DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. “This is another step in helping us create local jobs, build stronger communities, and improve the lives of the Delta people.”

The money will help retain 195 jobs by designing and rehabilitating rail access for the industrial park, Masingill added, and “leverage $600,000 in local, state, and other private funding for a total investment of $875,000.”

“The city of Monticello is extremely pleased that DRA has agreed to invest $275,000 to rehabilitate and extend the railroad spur into the MEDC Industrial Park,” said Monticello Mayor Allen Maxwell. “Rail access is extremely important for economic development. We expect that this will help us retain jobs and will allow Southeast Arkansas to improve our economic status.”