Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted more than $6.5 million in budget allocations for projects throughout Lafayette County for the upcoming 2022-2023 Fiscal Year.
The governor’s intent to approve these projects in the General Appropriations Act will allow for the implementation of several public safety and infrastructure needs for Lafayette County.DeSantis also announced his intent to approve a $400 million appropriation supporting Florida’s Broadband Opportunity Grant Program and a $30 million appropriation for the state’s Rural Infrastructure Fund.
“We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to helping rural communities build infrastructure and expand opportunities,” said DeSantis. “Fortifying infrastructure in our rural communities strengthens Florida’s economy, diversifies our workforce, and benefits Florida’s families.”
“Governor DeSantis has charged DEO with ensuring that Florida’s efforts to support rural communities like Lafayette County are holistic and collaborative,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to answer the governor’s call by supporting Lafayette County’s leadership in making infrastructure improvements, addressing public safety needs, and expanding broadband access.”
“A lot of people don’t understand that it is hard for us to generate the amount of revenue that we need for schools or law enforcement and first responders,” said Lafayette County Brian Lamb. “But when you have a governor that cares, even about Lafayette County which is one of the smallest in the state, that’s great. We have a governor that funds law enforcement and we have a governor that recognizes that public safety is important for safe living and safe businesses. By these contributions, you are making our county a safer place to live and work.”
The following Lafayette County-specific needs will be funded following the Governor’s signing of the 2022-2023 General Appropriations Act:
($296,000) –Salary Increase to Local Law Enforcement Agencies in Fiscally Constrained Counties
($400,000) – Lafayette District Schools Safe and Secure Schools Electronic Access Control Key System (HB 9341) (Senate Form 2646) Fixed Capital Outlay Public Schools Special Projects
($500,000) – Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office Communications (HB 9343) (Senate Form 2507) Law Enforcement – Department of Management Services
($4,586,550) – SR 20 (US 27) from Taylor County Line to Buckville Resurfacing
($22,000) – Lafayette Blue Springs State Park State Park Repairs & Maintenance
($28,000) – Suwannee River Wilderness Trail State Park Repairs & Maintenance
($680,000) – Troy Spring State Park State Park Repairs & Maintenance
The $400 million included in the budget for the Broadband Opportunity Grant Program will provide grant funding to expand high-speed internet connection to communities in need of the essential service. The program will also address historical broadband deficiencies and pave the way for future economic growth.
The $30 million Rural Infrastructure Fund, administered by DEO, will be 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.
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