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Gov. Ivey awards grant for John Soules Foods infrastructure

VALLEY — A $500,000 grant awarded Friday by Gov. Kay Ivey will pave the way for 500 new jobs in the city of Valley.

The city, in cooperation with the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District, will be using the Community Development Block Grant funds to provide the infrastructure necessary for John Soules Foods to located in a former WestPoint Home building off Towel Avenue. The 266,000-square-foot structure was formerly a distribution center for WestPoint Home and more recently a Kia supplier was located there.

“This is very good news,” said Valley Mayor Leonard Riley. “East Alabama will be using this money to put in the lift stations and sewer lines that John Soules Foods will be needing to go into production.”

Over the next six to eight weeks, there could be construction work in areas near the plant.

Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, John Soules Foods produces, processes and distributes fully cooked and ready-to-cook meat products for restaurants, grocery stores and food-service companies throughout the U.S.

“Bringing in new industry and employment opportunities to Alabama is, and will continue to be, a priority of my administration,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased that John Soules Foods is expanding in the Valley area, and I commend them and our local and state leaders for working together to make this a reality.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA, is administering the grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Gov. Ivey has repeatedly demonstrated her determination to support businesses and encourages new jobs,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is proud to play a role for this needed infrastructure project that will be providing jobs for Alabamians.”

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.

Valley will be providing matching funds for the project. In addition to the CDBG grant that’s been approved, the city is eligible for a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.