Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) awarded more than $28.4 million in funding for economic growth and infrastructure to 23 Florida communities on Tuesday. The funding came through primarily two state grant funds that are designed to assist communities with development and disaster preparation.
“Supporting the growth and resilience of Florida communities is the best way to ensure Florida’s strong future,” said DeSantis in a statement. “Investments made today will provide 23 communities with access to the resources they need to diversify their economies, increase public safety, and mitigate future risks.”
The largest recipient of funds from the Community Development Block Grant program went to the City of Stuart, which is set to receive just over $4.5 million. Alachua County will also receive $4 million, and even the small community of the Town of Wausau will receive nearly $1.4 million.
Similarly, the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Hazard Mitigation Grant Match program is set up to help communities who have endured difficult natural disasters and need extra assistance in revamping their infrastructure in preparation for the next storm.
The recipients of the CDBG-DR are predominantly smaller communities in South Florida and North Florida. However, the City of West Palm Beach and the City of Fort Lauderdale did make the list of communities that received funding, with over $500,000 and $900,000 respectively.
The third grant program divvying out funds was the Hazard Mitigation Grant Match program, which awarded state dollars exclusively to Panhandle communities. This program was a part of the Rebuild Florida initiative administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, whose secretary was also a part of the announcement with DeSantis.
“Governor DeSantis has championed the economic growth of Florida’s communities by making continued investments in their success,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support his efforts by connecting communities to opportunities that suit their unique needs and foster generational growth for their residents.”
Over the last year, DeSantis has prioritized numerous infrastructure initiatives primarily through DEO’s grant programs. Earlier this year, the Republican governor announced $80 million to South Florida communities through Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. Additionally, he announced millions for rural North Florida counties of Madison, Suwannee, and Putnam.
“Our administration has focused on investing in meaningful projects that improve infrastructure and create opportunities for employers and families in rural communities,” said DeSantis at the time. “There is strong demand in our state and especially in rural communities for economic expansion and I will continue working with the Florida Legislature to fund projects like these.”
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