On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more than $5.2 million in funding for infrastructure projects in small and rural Florida communities.
The funds are administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development category (CDBG-ED) and the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF).
“I am pleased to announce more than $5.2 million is being awarded to small and rural Florida communities to improve infrastructure,” DeSantis said on Thursday. “We will continue to invest in our state’s infrastructure to help attract new businesses and create opportunities for residents.”
The Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DEO. The Rural Infrastructure Fund, administered by DEO, provides funding to local governments for infrastructure projects in rural communities to encourage job creation and business investment and to strengthen and diversify rural economies. The small and rural communities receiving funds include:
Bradford County – ($300,000, RIF) to complete an environmental assessment at Keystone Airpark, required by the Federal Aviation Administration, to ensure no significant environmental impacts will be created in the construction of an access road.
Citrus County – ($559,000 CDBG-ED) to assist with sewer main improvements to support the expansion of a technology recycling business. This project is expected to create a minimum of 16 new, full-time jobs.
The City of Avon Park – ($720,000, RIF) to extend water and sewer lines running parallel to highway U.S. 27. This critical infrastructure will enhance opportunities for economic development and is anticipated to create 240 jobs.
The City of Florida City – ($1,500,000 CDBG-ED) to construct new water and sewer lines and make street, flood and drainage improvements. This project is expected to create a minimum of 43 new, full-time jobs.
The City of Palmetto – ($1,500,000, CDBG-ED) to install public infrastructure including street, water, sewer and stormwater improvements to support the construction of the Palmetto Sheraton Hotel adjacent to the Bradenton Convention Center. This project is expected to create a minimum of 43 new, full-time jobs.
The Town of Greenville – ($384,000, CDBG-ED) to assist with the demolition of three existing buildings and to assist with construction of the new grocery store. Additionally, ($304,700, RIF) to assist with the construction of a grocery store that will include mechanical systems and project inspection services. This project is expected to create a minimum of 11 new, full-time jobs.
“Governor DeSantis is focused on making strategic investments in small and rural communities,” said Ken Lawson, the executive director of DEO. “The Community Development Block Grant and Rural Infrastructure Funds are available to help communities that need it the most. These programs provide communities with the funding they need to make major infrastructure improvements, allowing them to set the stage for future development and economic resiliency.”