By Lydia Nusbaum
June 15, 2022 Updated 8:20 A.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Florida communities were awarded $1.5 million to improve infrastructure including broadband, roads, and water quality.
“These awards will help communities across the state create plans for infrastructure improvements, create jobs, and strengthen their economic resiliency,” DeSantis said. “Ensuring the success of our state’s small and rural communities is at the heart of the work my administration carries out every day.”
Funding for the programs is allocated by the Florida Legislature and administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The Community Planning Technical Assistance grant helps counties and cities create strategies for economic development while protecting environmentally sensitive areas. The grant also assists with disaster recovery and preparation.
The Rural Infrastructure Fund helps rural communities encourage job creation and capital investment.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, DEO continues to make valuable, strategic investments in communities across the state,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “We will work closely with the communities receiving awards to meet their planning needs and help prepare them for future economic development opportunities.”
Funding is awarded to the following community through the RIF grant program:
–City of Apalachicola ($147,000) – to evaluate the existing water supply and treatment facilities, and provide alternatives and recommendations to improve the city’s potable water quality.
Funding is awarded to the following communities through the CPTA grant program:
–Apalachee Regional Planning Council ($56,000) – to initiate a regional broadband planning project to unify and guide broadband planning and implementation efforts in Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties.
–Central Florida Regional Planning Council ($75,000) – to develop the Heartland Regional Resiliency Action Plan to support DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee, and Polk counties.
–City of Apalachicola ($75,000) – to develop Phase 2 of the Apalachicola Bay Area of Critical State Concern Work Plan, and update the city’s local Comprehensive Plan to make required statutory changes and address resiliency changes.
–City of Bowling Green ($30,000) – to develop a Downtown Master Plan and land development regulations.
-City of DeBary ($75,000) – to develop a DeBary Town Center Transportation and Infrastructure Plan.
–City of Palatka ($30,000) – to update the existing Historic Preservation Survey to identify additional structures that contribute to the city’s historic significance.
–City of Sebastian ($70,000) – to complete a Sustainable Economic Redevelopment Plan for the city’s Riverfront Community Redevelopment Area.
–City of Wauchula ($12,000) – to update the city’s 10-Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plan and related Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives, and policies.
–Columbia County ($65,000) – to conduct a Pre-Master Plan of the Bell Road Distribution Corridor, which has served as both a major evacuation route for southern Florida and a commercial corridor for statewide response efforts.
–Hendry County ($75,000) – to update the Future Land Use Element within the county’s Comprehensive Plan to address the significant growth pressures with an emphasis on community resiliency.
–Hernando County ($102,000) – to conduct a broadband feasibility study for the installation and maintenance of fiber to increase internet access to underserved areas, decrease system vulnerabilities, and increase internet speeds.
–Highlands County ($50,000) – to develop a county-wide facility study for tourism and recreation opportunities.
–Levy County ($34,700) – to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) database that will enable the county to publish and share information through the development of online interactive maps and dashboards.
–Madison County ($65,000) – to develop a State Road 53/Interstate 10 Interchange Pre-Master Plan that includes conducting professional studies, as well as reviewing the county’s existing Comprehensive Plan, ordinances, and land development codes.
–Miami-Dade County ($65,000) – to update the county’s Urban Design Manual to address the most current issues affecting development in the county, including affordable and workforce housing, mixed housing types, resilience, and accessibility.
–Monroe County ($50,000) – to develop an adaptation and resiliency plan that outlines projects to protect Pigeon Key’s historic and environmental resources.
–Northeast Florida Regional Council ($35,000) – to assist with the development of the A1A Ocean Island Trail Scenic Byway Strategic Plan to address operational challenges and alignment of initiatives with Duval and Nassau counties, and to support communicating the importance of resiliency throughout the region.
–Northeast Florida Regional Council ($24,000) – to assist the Town of Glen St. Mary with creating a new GIS future land use map series, and updating their Comprehensive Plan.
–Town of Astatula ($75,000) – to complete a study of the town’s entire water distribution system.
–Town of Inglis ($75,000) – to develop a Community Action Plan, also known as an Engineering Evaluation of Inglis Dam and Inglis Bypass, to restore water flow through the Lower Withlacoochee River.
–Town of Lantana ($62,121) – to complete a stormwater drainage system assessment.
–Volusia County ($75,000) – to develop a draft Low Impact Development Ordinance and Guidebook for Volusia County.
–Wakulla County ($73,500) – to conduct a topographic survey on roads east of United States Highway 98 from Mineral Springs South to Levy Bay Road, which will be a starting point for developing a mitigation strategy for sea-level rise and resiliency planning for flooding in the area.
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