At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded more than $15 million to ten Florida communities through the Rural Infrastructure Fund and the Community Development Block Grant – CV (CDBG-CV) program.
Additionally, when the review of the state’s budget is complete, $600,000 will be committed through the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to support the construction of ADA compliant facilities at the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center Shooting Complex in Gadsden County.
“My administration is dedicated to building infrastructure that strengthens Florida’s communities,” said DeSantis on Friday. “These strategic, meaningful investments will help produce a stronger economy and a more confident workforce.”
“Over eight-hundred people move to Florida each day because Governor DeSantis ensures that our state offers unmatched opportunities, choices, and quality of life,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Dane Eagle. “Projects like these amplify those opportunities and provide resources that go a long way in helping communities grow.”
The following community will receive an award through the Rural Infrastructure Fund:
• City of Gretna ($504,100) – to support road and utility improvements in preparation for the construction of a new facility that will create 14 jobs and an estimated $14.5 million capital investment in the City of Gretna.
• Hardee County ($34,434) – to design and engineer a new 22,500 square foot building in the Hardee County Commerce Park.
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the Rural Infrastructure Fund is used to facilitate the planning, preparation, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities. Funded projects encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies.
The program is intended to enable rural communities to access infrastructure funding programs, such as those offered by the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant, the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development Grant, and the United States Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration Grant.
The following communities will receive awards through the Community Development Block Grant-CV Program:
• Lake County ($653,511) – to conduct public service activities within Lake County, including a mobile food pantry and vaccination site.
• City of Fort Meade ($5,000,000) – to address historical broadband deficiencies by connecting over 1,800 homes to essential services.
• City of Lake Wales ($1,193,660) – to widen sidewalks and footpaths in residential neighborhoods to increase the safety of designated walking spaces.
• City of St. Augustine ($1,251,229) – to rehabilitate the St. Francis House Crisis Center to meet increasing demands for service.
• St. Johns County ($406,633) – to construct an annex building to the County Emergency Operations Center to allow for interface with first responders and the public.
• City of Chattahoochee ($3,789,000) – to rehabilitate an existing former school building for use as a new senior center.
• City of Gretna ($2,253,500) – to expand the city’s community center to allow for the provision of public health services.
The CDBG-CV program, also administered by DEO, primarily benefits low- and moderate-income residents. Activities benefit workforce housing, training, and sustainability, as well as broadband infrastructure and planning.
The following community will receive an award through the Federal Grants Trust Fund (FGTF) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
• City of Midway ($600,000) – to construct an education center with ADA compliant bathrooms, 5-station shooting stand, automated clay throwing equipment, and a 5-station small-bore rifle range.
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