Local officials announce multi-million dollar 'green' grant

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, flanked by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mark Luttrell, hit the Mississippi waterfront Wednesday for a big announcement.

"We were able to announce and secure a 2.6 million dollar grant," Cohen said.

The Federal HUD grant will be used to create a comprehensive Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan.

Paul Young of the Shelby County Office of Sustainability said the eventual implementation of the land use plan will give the Mid-South world class allure.

"One of the first things businesses ask when they're looking to relocate in a community is, 'What is the quality do life like,'" he said.

The grant money will be used to design a tri-state green print, connecting Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. That includes planning the green line extension between Memphis and West Memphis."

"Meaning, if I want to ride my bike from the Mississippi River down to DeSoto County, after putting this plan together, we can do that," Young said.

The plan will be carried out with unprecedented cooperation between a consortium of 25 local entities.

"The consortium is made up of businesses, non profit agencies, and governments, and we'll all come together to develop a deliberative process on how we're going to secure projects for funding," Young said.

The grant money for the greenprint will stretch out over three years and only includes the plan itself - not construction.

Cohen said the Mid-South is one of only 10 regions selected to get this federal money.

"This is just one of those examples because of our connections with the administration and the good planning or our mayors, we've been successful," he said.

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