Delta Regional Authority grant improves St. James city infrastructure, allows Prock Operations to remain

RDN REPORTS
Paving is being completed at the intersection of Wishon and Hardy in St. James.

In 2018, the city was awarded a $174,124 grant from the Delta Regional Authority to make infrastructure improvements to expand Prock Industries, a local manufacturer. This project allowed Prock Operations to remain in St. James and expand its labor force and facilities.

St. James Mayor Rick Krawiecki said, “We are very excited with the opportunity the Delta Regional Authority grant provided.”

“The grant was the deciding factor in Prock Operations Inc. keeping and expanding its facility in St. James. This project allowed Prock Operations to increase its employment by 33% to 133 employees and retained the 100 employees that were located at the St. James facility,” Krawiecki added.

The funds paid for infrastructure improvements, including storm water management, water system improvements, and paving of an alley between Prock Operations buildings to allow them to use the new road to transport material and equipment between buildings. 

The construction included improved roadbed and new paving, curbs, and sidewalks on Hardy Street and the widening of Hardy and Wishon streets' intersection to allow larger trucks to access the Prock Operations buildings.  

According to Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell, the $174,124 investment for infrastructure improvements in St. James will strengthen economic success in Missouri’s Meramec region. 

“This investment highlights the importance of local and regional public-private partnership in realizing the long-term success of infrastructure, business, and workforce projects to spur job growth and ultimately improve business competitiveness in the region,” Caldwell said. 

The total project investment was roughly $1.1 million. The city of St. James transferred the deed to the alley property between industrial buildings to Prock Operations, which was valued at $111,000. Additionally, Prock Operations contributed $850,759 in private investment.  

The Delta Regional Authority project allowed for additional needed work to city infrastructure, including maintenance holes and 1,325 feet of sanitary sewer main.The grant also helped the city's infrastructure by allowing the paving of the alley between Wishon and Seymore streets, according to Krawiecki.

Krawiecki said the city was also able to address the failing stormwater system at Wishon and Hardy streets. While correcting that issue, the city replaced the aging sewer main and several maintenance holes on Wishon Street from Scioto to Washington. 

“This repair also benefits the residents south of Scioto and the St. James Schools as the sewer mains that service those locations flow to this main on Wishon. We would not have paved the alleyway and made the stormwater repairs at this time without the grant,” Krawiecki said. “The sewer replacement is part of the long-term plan to upgrade the collection system, and the Delta Regional Authority grant allowed us to address it much sooner than we would otherwise have been able to.”

Archer-Elgin Engineering completed engineering work. Construction was completed by Capital Paving and Construction, Donald Maggi, Inc. and the city of St. James. 

Prock Operations has operated in St. James since 1986 for the majority of their operation. Through its product divisions and its close relationship with sister company Snowman Cooler, LLC, they serve national and international customers with its custom products, which include: 

  • Glass showcases and displays under Spartan Showcase.
  • Cabinetry and other millwork under For Your Convenience.
  • Laminate and melamine panels and Xcelamine water-resistant panels.
  • Recycled and renewable surfacing material under EcoTec Surfaces.
  • Acrylic solid surface material under Acrylitec Surfaces.
  • Self-contained agricultural systems under Agrow Cube. 

The company’s corporate headquarters are located at 124 S. Seymour St., in St James. Dennis Prock is the founder and owner. Chris Peters serves as the company president and CEO.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to promote and encourage the lower Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt's economic development. Delta Regional Authority invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training and business development.

To learn more about the Delta Regional Authority’s programs initiative, visit www.dra.gov