The Economic Development Administration (EDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced this week that Mariposa County has received a $6.29 million resiliency grant for downtown renovations. EDA Disaster Supplemental grants help build and repair critical infrastructure in business districts that are affected by natural disasters and are located in or serve Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zones.
“EDA is encouraging our economic development partners to think of Opportunity Zone investment as a new arrow in their quiver to not only enhance ROI for business interests, but also to encourage the public/private partnerships needed to drive private investment to distressed areas,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming. “Our Opportunity Zone investment in these California communities can magnify local economic development and job creation goals.”
In February 2017 and March 2018, Mariposa County experienced torrential rains that resulted in flooding in many areas of the county. In downtown Mariposa, a historic Gold Rush community located in one of Mariposa County’s two large opportunity zones, flooding damaged commercial buildings, roads, parking lots, sidewalks and other critical infrastructure.
Grant dollars will be used to replace aging Mariposa Public Utility District water and sewer infrastructure, replace roads, add a parking structure, improve traffic flow, widen sidewalks, install Gold Rush-era street lights and upgrade the drainage system. “We’re certainly going to do everything we possibly can to make it the most inviting downtown community for not only our residents but also the international visitors who come and join us every year,” said Mariposa County Director of Public Works and Transportation Mike Healy.
The Mariposa County Public Works Department will be conducting town hall meetings to inform the public and receive input as the project approaches. A map of the proposed project can be found at this link. Additional details will be published as they are available.
For more information about the project, contact Tara G. Schiff, economic development specialist, at (209)742-1214 or Mike Healy, director of public works, at (209)966-5356.