This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced almost $750,000 in funds to communities across North Florida through the Rural Infrastructure Fund and Regional Rural Development Grant programs. The funds will be used to improve infrastructure.
“Florida’s economy is strong but there is still work to be done in some of our hardworking, resilient North Florida communities,” said DeSantis when he announced the grants on Wednesday. “The development of infrastructure is critical for the economic development of these rural communities.”
“Governor DeSantis is focused on building a stronger and more resilient Florida,” said Department of Economic Opportunity(DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson. “These communities need these important resources to build a thriving and more competitive place for their businesses and families to grow.”
The Rural Infrastructure Fund is run by DEO and “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.”
Columbia County was awarded $100,000 “to design, engineer and permit the expansion of the Bell Road corridor, an identified key economic development site.”
Lake City was awarded $200,000 “to identify and address restriction points that limit wastewater availability in the community and inhibit the economic development of key locations including the North Florida Mega Industrial Site, the North Central Florida Rural Area of Opportunity Catalyst Site and the Bell Road corridor.”
Gretna was awarded $298,725 “to conduct a feasibility study that will determine if the property is ready for industrial uses that are predicted in the Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone Study.”
“The North Florida Economic Development Partnership is being awarded $150,000 through the Regional Rural Development Grant (RRDG),” the governor’s office noted. “The RRDG is used by regional economic development organizations to implement strategies that will help attract and grow businesses in designated rural counties. The North Florida Economic Development Partnership is a regional economic organization that represents Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor and Union counties.”