Governor DeSantis Announces Nearly $1.9 Million in Awards to Improve Infrastructure and Broadband for Rural Florida Communities
DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis announced that nearly $1.9 million has been awarded to three communities through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rural Infrastructure Fund. Included in the $1.9 million is more than $1.1 million for projects in Walton County to attract business investment and improve broadband access.
“We are happy to announce $1.1 million in funding to Walton County through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund and Rural Infrastructure Fund,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We know Walton County is a good place to be, which is why we are making these important investments to continue to support this community and grow the local economy. Without a doubt, the projects announced today will have an impact far greater than the investment we are making and we are looking forward to seeing the results.”
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, DEO will work closely with these communities to ensure these crucial grants are administered efficiently and effectively,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “Improving infrastructure and expanding broadband technology capabilities will continue enhancing prosperity for all Floridians.”
“These grants are vital to Florida’s rural communities to create access for business and industry, including manufacturing, and attracting and retaining top talent,” said Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell. “Whether it’s the physical access that roadways and critical infrastructure provides or the rapid access to information that broadband provides, these resources will give Florida’s rural communities the necessities to compete and economically thrive.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Through the Job Growth Grant Fund, Walton County is being awarded $500,000 for the construction of roads, sewer and water lines at Woodland Commerce Park. This investment is projected to support nearly 1,000 jobs in the area.
The Rural Infrastructure Fund program provides funding to facilitate the planning, preparing and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities. The projects awarded through the Rural Infrastructure Fund program include:
- Town of Lake Placid ($570,000) – expand the town’s sewer system and eliminate commercial septic tanks impacting Lake Placid. The project impact includes retention of 45 jobs and improved water quality for Lake Placid.
- Wakulla County ($190,000) – conduct a broadband feasibility study including public outreach, along with the identification of areas of insufficient broadband infrastructure, potential service providers, necessary improvements and associated costs.
- Walton County ($625,000) – improve access and the availability of broadband internet services throughout Walton County.