Florida Governor DeSantis Announces Millions for More Rural Infrastructure

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced earlier this week that $11 million will be going to supporting rural infrastructure in three counties: Madison, Suwannee, and Putnam. He made the announcement from Madison, Florida, as the money will come from the Community Development Block Grant program administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

“Our administration has focused on investing in meaningful projects that improve infrastructure and create opportunities for employers and families in rural communities,” said DeSantis in a statement. “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.”

Three-hundred thousand dollars will be designated to go to Madison County for the purpose of a feasibility study to go toward extended sewer and water services. Additionally, $340,000 will go to the City of Palatka to expand a lift station. These dollars will come from the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF).

The bulk of the money will come from the Community Development Block Grant-CV which originates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Five million will go to Suwannee County for a new multi-use building, and $5 million will go to Palatka for wider sidewalks and paths in downtown.

DEO Secretary Dane Eagle said his department is proud to work alongside the administration in assisting rural communities.

“I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis as he champions Florida’s rural communities yet again,” said Eagle. “Under the Governor’s leadership, more than $70 million has been awarded to Florida’s small and rural communities to promote their economic success.”

DeSantis took to Twitter and echoed comments by saying he is continuing his commitment to award funding to rural North Florida.

“My administration is committed to supporting rural communities & our small cities with the funds they need to improve infrastructure that benefits Florida families & small businesses,” DeSantis said. “Glad to be in Madison County to award nearly $11 million for communities across North Florida.”

Since last summer, DeSantis has made a number of announcements prioritizing funding for rural communities. In July, he announced $29 million in development grants for rural communities. Last month, he awarded $20 million to Panama City designated for Hurricane Michael recovery and then $91 million for rural Panhandle cities and towns, also for Hurricane Michael recovery.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis. 



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