Monday, June 17, 2024

Gov. DeSantis presents $9.2M for Big Bend infrastructure projects

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LIVE OAK, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Thursday morning in Live Oak to announce a total of $9.2 million for infrastructure projects in three Big Bend counties.

From the Job Growth Grant Fund, $2.2 million will go to Suwannee County for the construction of a wastewater plant at a county industrial park, $2 million is headed to Madison County for road widening and resurfacing at an industrial park there and Big Bend Technical College in Taylor County will get $5 million for a new, 10,000 square foot advanced manufacturing teaching facility, according to the governor.

“Last year (the legislature approved) $75 million (for the Job Growth Grant Fund), what that does is it lets us in the governor’s office work with our state agencies and work with local communities to provide grants for either infrastructure improvements or for workforce training and workforce development,” DeSantis said. “Since we are coming to the end of the fiscal year — well, I guess we have a few more months, but we have a new budget coming in that’s going to going to be passed soon — we’re like, ’OK, I want to make sure we use this job growth grant money and be impactful,’ so we felt that doing it in these awards in Idalia-impacted communities would go a long way,” DeSantis said.

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J. Alex Kelly, Florida secretary of commerce, joined DeSantis for the event at Busy Bee #025 Travel Center along U.S. 129.

“A job in manufacturing is on average an $11,000 boost to a household. That’s a game changer for anyone,” Kelly said. “The work you’re putting in here with the support of the governor is a game changer for the community. It’s these kinds of targeted investments too that we’re seeing that are really raising the profile of North Florida.”

Watch Thursday’s news conference again in the media player below:

HB 317, a proposed law to fine “left-lane camping” on roads with at least two lanes and speed limits at or above 65 mph, awaits the governor’s signature. It was passed unanimously by the Florida Senate last month after the House voted 113-3 to pass it a week prior.

The state Senate more recently passed a final version of a bill that could lead to new rules for storing lithium-ion batteries, tallying a 39-1 vote Wednesday on HB 989 and sending it to DeSantis.

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