OPELIKA — On Feb. 26, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that the city of Opelika would be receiving a $2 million Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act (SEEDS) grant which was approved by the State Industrial Development Authority. The grant will be matched by the city and will be used for an extension of North Park Drive in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park and for a bridge across Halawakee Creek.

“SEEDS represents an important tool that will allow us to keep winning those economic development projects that trigger lasting impacts for Alabama citizens,” Ivey said. “The awarding of the first grants under the program represents a milestone in our efforts to make sure Alabama remains competitive for game-changing growth projects.”

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller added, “We are pleased to be awarded this grant from the state. It will help Opelika further develop industry-ready sites so we can continue to bring in great paying jobs to our community. We are blessed to have the support of Governor Ivey.”

A total of $30.1 million in SEEDS funding will be awarded and matched in local funds at 29 different industrial sites encompassing nearly 8,400 acres across Alabama. The groundbreaking grant program — a key portion of the governor’s “Game Plan” package of economic development bills approved by the Legislature last year — takes direct aim at the urgent need for quality industrial sites in Alabama at a time when other states are spending heavily to expand their site programs.

“This grant will allow Opelika to open its doors to more opportunity and economic growth. We need to be able to market this 282-acre site in our Northeast Park so that we can compete for larger projects, particularly in the Aerospace sector, and the road extension and bridge will provide the access we currently do not have,” said John Sweatman, Opelika Economic Development Director.

The Northeast Opelika Industrial Park, located adjacent to Interstate 85 and a short 75-minute drive to Atlanta’s International Airport, is a master-planned industrial development with all the needed infrastructure in place. It houses 10 industries which currently employ more than 3,000 people.