NEW CASTLE – Today, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced that New Castle County was a competitive grant recipient from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The $822,800 grant was awarded to New Castle County to help complete a major trail connecting two rivers in New Castle County and provide informational wayfinding, historical background, and public art to attract visitors to New Castle County’s outdoor amenities.
This project will make improvements to the southern part of the Jack A. Markell Trail to boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and local attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $205,700 in local funds and is expected to create 15 jobs and retain 30 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will allow New Castle County to build on its outdoor recreation assets to create new economic opportunity and jobs.”
“Public art matters,” said County Executive Meyer. “We are very thankful for the support from our federal delegation partners for this investment in the Jack Markell Trail U.S. Economic Development Administration. We were able to win this highly competitive grant due to amazing, round the clock work by New Castle County’s Economic Development Director Charuni Patibanda in collaboration with others at New Castle County Government.”
“Today is a great day for the First State! I’m delighted we are delivering this critical federal support to upgrade the Jack A. Markell Trail and help boost the tourism industry in New Castle County,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “I’ve always said that government should create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation. This project is a perfect example of that ethos and I’m excited to see all the good it will bring to Delaware.”
“As a former New Castle County Executive, I know how important it is to leverage natural assets and use outdoor amenities like the Jack Markell Trail to boost tourism and allow residents to get out and explore nature. It’s clear Matt Meyer and his team understand that too,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “This project will create an exciting new experience through public art and enhanced historical interpretation that will attract more visitors to learn more about New Castle County’s rich history while enjoying its natural beauty.”
“We know that quality of life is one of the primary drivers of economic development in Delaware and across the country,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-01). “That’s why I’m so thrilled with the investments being made to the Jack A. Markell trail in New Castle by the Economic Development Administration, creating jobs, attracting growth, and improving the quality of life in the First State.”
This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.