Ron DeSantis Announces $22 Million for Projects in 15 Florida Communities

At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $22 million in funding to 15 Florida communities through the CDBG-CV program.

These awards will support projects including expanding broadband internet services, improvements to community centers, and small business grants. DeSantis also announced that in this year’s budget, he will be approving more than $460,000 to add two new covered pavilions and an eight-foot-wide boardwalk at the Bird Creek Boat Ramp in Levy County.

“We have been responsible, we have protected people’s freedoms, and we have kept the economy open in Florida,” said DeSantis. “Today we are proud to announce another $22 million for workforce development and infrastructure across Florida. Communities across the state are going to benefit from this funding and their growth will help us continue to succeed as a state.”

“Governor DeSantis has a strong vision for Florida’s economy, and thanks to his leadership, we have made economic resiliency a priority in Florida,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Dane Eagle. “This funding will help meet communities’ needs as they continue to grow stronger and prepare for future crises.”

Administered by DEO, CDBG-CV funds are federally awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and designed to help local governments prepare for, prevent, or respond to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Awarded projects must be critical to the locality and primarily benefit low- and moderate-income residents. Local governments are encouraged to include activities that benefit workforce housing, training, and sustainability, as well as broadband infrastructure and planning.

The following communities will receive funding awards through the Community Development Block Grant – CV Small Cities and Entitlement Programs:

Town of Otter Creek ($1,426,343) – to address historical broadband deficiencies by providing high-speed broadband connection to the town’s residents.

City of Key West ($4,300,000) – to reconstruct and improve a homeless shelter that will provide around-the-clock services to community members in need.

Town of Astatula ($3,852,745) – to bring high-speed broadband connection to the residents of Astatula, addressing a historical need.

City of Hawthorne ($3,538,035) – to construct a new Hawthorne Area Resource Center (HARC) that will provide foodbank, medical, and outreach services.

City of Fellsmere ($2,755,000) – to provide high-speed broadband connection to the residents of Fellsmere.

City of Orlando ($1,586,717) – to provide support to small businesses, students, and families through a number of public assistance projects.

City of Tampa ($1,473,655) – to fund the City’s Creative Academic Readiness Education (CARE) to prepare toddlers for pre-K and kindergarten.

DeSoto County ($1,020,000) – to support DeSoto county’s homeless population by providing transitional housing, running water, and hygiene services.

Marion County ($505,729) – to expand capacity capabilities for Marion County Children’s Advocacy Center’s continued growth.

City of Port St. Lucie ($423,707) – to fund grants to local small businesses in low-income areas.

City of Miami Gardens ($412,246) – to replace three HVAC units on the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, the city’s main community facility.

City of Miami Beach ($381,620) – to provide direct financial assistance to homeowners in need.

City of Deerfield Beach ($244,579) – to strengthen the city’s workforce through a workforce education program and to launch the Senior Technology Program to increase seniors’ quality of life.

City of Tamarac ($181,156) – to provide mortgage, rent, re-housing, and utility assistance for community members in need.

Village of Wellington ($130,288) – to increase the size of the Boys and Girls Club facility, allowing for increased community outreach and participation.

DeSantis also approved $464,080 to provide for the completion of improvements to the Levy County Bird Creek Boat Ramp in the 2022-23 budget.

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