County gets grant targeting Route 9 and 13 area

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    New Castle County Executive Paul . Clark announced that the county has been awarded a $41,700 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create an economic-development plan for the Routes 9 and 13 corridor south of Wilmington.

    The area has struggled as plants have closed and development shifted to areas such as Bear-Glasgow and Middletown.

    The will formally announce the grant on Thursday at the Wilmington University Doberstein Admissions Center, 320 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle. Clark and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper will be among the speakers.

     The $41,700 grant is being matched with local funds from New Castle County, $40,000; Delaware Economic Development Office, $5,000; Delaware River and Bay Authority, $5,000; City of New Castle, $1,500; and Historic New Castle Alliance, $200.

     New Castle County and investors will use the grant to develop an economic development plan to create jobs and invest in businesses in the area that includes New Castle city, New Castle County Airport, and the unincorporated areas of the county north to the Wilmington boundary.

    The plan aims to identify industries and businesses to retain, grow and attract; promote growth around the infrastructure of the Port of Wilmington and New Castle Airport; expand tourism, commerce and small businesses in the area; and spur reinvestment of underused or vacant properties.

     “This initiative is an important first step in revitalizing this area, which is significant to the economy of the county and region,” Clark said. “We’re grateful for the cooperation and support we’ve received for this effort.”

    New Castle County will release a Request for Proposals in May to select an economic development consultant to work with stakeholders to develop the plan, which is expected to be complete by December.

    The Routes 9 and 13 initiative is part of Clark’s “Sowing Seeds, Growing Jobs” plan announced in February. That plan also includes a tax incentive for businesses, promotion of local goods and services, designation of a small business advocate, a more efficient development review process, and additional investment in sewers, libraries, and parks.

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