Ron DeSantis announces $15.6 million to 10 Florida communities for community development


At the end of last week, Governor 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).

Additionally, when the state budget review 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 communities,” DeSantis said Friday. “These strategic and significant investments will help produce a stronger economy and a more confident workforce.

“More than eight hundred people commute to Florida every day because Governor DeSantis is ensuring our state provides unparalleled opportunity, choice and quality of life,” said the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Danish 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 under the Rural Infrastructure Fund:

City of Gretna ($504,100) – to support road and utility improvements for the construction of a new facility that will create 14 jobs and an estimated capital investment of $14.5 million in the town of Gretna.

Hardee County ($34,434) – to design and construct a new 22,500 square foot building in Hardee County Commerce Park.

Administered by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (WD), 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 aims to enable rural communities to access infrastructure funding programs, such as those offered by the SShopping Center Community Development Block Grantthe United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development Grantand the United States Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration Grant.

The following communities will receive awards under the Community Development Block Grant-CV program:

• Lake County ($653,511) – to conduct public service activities in Lake County, including a mobile food pantry and vaccination site.

Town of Fort Meade ($5,000,000) – to address historic broadband gaps by connecting more than 1,800 homes to essential services.

• Town of Lake Wales ($1,193,660) – to widen sidewalks and pathways in residential neighborhoods to increase the safety of designated pedestrian spaces.

City of St. Augustine ($1,251,229) – to refurbish the St. Francis House crisis center to meet growing demand for services.

• St. Johns County ($406,633) – to construct an annex building to the County Emergency Operations Center to interface with first responders and the public.

• Town of Chattahoochee ($3,789,000) – to rehabilitate an existing old school building for use as a new senior center.

• City of Gretna ($2,253,500) – to expand the town’s community center to enable the delivery of public health services.

The CDBG-CV program, also administered by the DEO, primarily benefits low- and middle-income residents. Activities benefit housing, training and workforce sustainability, as well as broadband infrastructure and planning.

The following community will receive a prize via the Federal Grants Trust Fund (FGTF) of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

• Town of Midway ($600,000) – to build an education center with ADA-compliant bathrooms, a 5-station shooting range, automated clay-throwing equipment, and a 5-station small-bore shooting range resorts.

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