Florida Gov. DeSantis announces $29 million going to small and rural areas

Regional News

BRISTOL, Fla. (WMBB) — The state of Florida through the Department of Economic Opportunity is awarding $29 million to small and rural communities.

Governor Ron DeSantis said the funding will be a part of Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program.

“Fortunately of that 29 million and those 42 awards, $700,000 are being awarded for neighborhood revitalization projects in Liberty County,” said Gov. DeSantis.

The governor said granting money in small cities and counties will make a big difference, and he wants to make sure they aren’t overlooked.

Funds are going to be used for infrastructure improvements like paving roads and replacing water meters.

The funding is limited to cities or towns that have less than 50,000 people, or counties that have an unincorporated population of less than 200,000.

“We’ve done about 60 million dollars for small communities since 2019 through this Block Grant Program and we’re happy to be here today to be able to announce additional awards,” said Gov. DeSantis.

Additionally, the city of Bristol, which was drastically impacted by Hurricane Michael, will be getting $35,000 for community design and disaster preparedness.

Liberty County will also be given a $15,000 grant to develop a communications infrastructure master plan.

“Following Hurricane Michael, the county struggled with communication between response agencies, so this money will be provided to help a way forward from that,” said Gov. DeSantis.

The Department of Environmental Protection is also working on a new county jail.

“We got money to help with doing plans, making sure that the ground and the place that we’re getting from the state will all meet with code and everything, and, if it does, then that’s just the first step,” said Buddy Money, Liberty County Sheriff.

The second step will require another grant from the state so they can begin construction.

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