Florida: Governor Ron DeSantis Awards More Than $6 Million to Hurricane Idalia-Impacted Communities
The Floridant/10262133

CEDAR KEY, Fla. ~ Cedar Key, Fla. - In a press conference today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that over $6 million in awards will be distributed to communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia through the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) program and the Florida Disaster Fund. These funds aim to strengthen public infrastructure and create job opportunities for employers and families in rural areas.

Out of the $6 million, $5.3 million will be allocated through the RIF program to nine communities affected by Hurricane Idalia. This funding will help these communities recover from the devastation caused by the hurricane and promote long-term economic growth.

Governor DeSantis stated, "Hurricane Idalia had a significant impact on the Big Bend region, and we are providing these communities with resources for recovery and future development. Today's awards add to the more than $24 million already awarded this year through the Rural Infrastructure Program, which aims to drive economic development and improve local infrastructure."

Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly also expressed his support for these funds, saying, "The Big Bend region suffered severe damage due to Hurricane Idalia, and FloridaCommerce is committed to providing resources like the RIF Program to help these communities recover. By setting aside funds for impacted areas, we are taking proactive measures to ensure that these communities can continue growing as they rebuild what was lost."

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Josie Tamayo, CEO of Volunteer Florida Foundation, also spoke about their involvement in distributing funds from the Florida Disaster Fund. She said, "I am proud that Volunteer Florida Foundation and the Florida Disaster Fund can deploy this award and help impacted Floridians return to their homes after Hurricane Idalia."

The RIF awards announced today are a result of swift action taken during a November 2023 Special Session of the Florida Legislature to address urgent issues facing the state due to Hurricane Idalia.

In addition to the RIF program awards, $1 million will be distributed through the Florida Disaster Fund to expedite the recovery process for those who lost their homes or experienced extensive damage from Hurricane Idalia. This funding will prioritize low-to-moderate income homeowners who no longer carry insurance in the hardest hit counties, helping them return to safe and sanitary homes.

The following communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia will receive awards through the RIF program:

- Cedar Key Water & Sewer District ($2,500,000) - This funding will be used to rehabilitate 17 lift stations, including raising control panels above storm surge levels to protect essential water and sewer services for the community and local industries.

- City of Live Oak ($601,000) - The funds will be used to design and install a gravity sewer collection system and water services along the 68th Terrace corridor. This will support current and future commercial developments, including an immediate commercial development.

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- Lafayette County ($400,000) - The award will go towards constructing a 3,000 square foot commercial building in the Industrial Park in Lafayette County.

- Town of Cross City ($337,721) - The funds will be used to evaluate three potable wells and address declining water quality. Recommendations for repairs or improvements will also be provided.

- Taylor County ($304,500) - This funding will be used to construct new concrete infrastructure and install a 15,000-gallon aviation fuel tank system at the Perry-Foley Airport.

- City of Monticello ($300,000) - The award will go towards completing planning, design, and permitting for Phase 1 of Monticello's I-10 & SR-19 Sewer Transmission System Improvements. This phase focuses on rehabilitating or replacing two critical lift stations.

- City of Perry ($300,000) - The funds will be used to conduct a study on stormwater management throughout the city. This includes addressing stormwater at the Gram's Legacy Grove Site and providing preliminary engineering for water, wastewater, and natural gas.

- City of Jasper ($300,000) - The award will go towards conducting a comprehensive Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey to investigate, televise, and map the entire sewer collection system. This includes gravity sewers and lift stations.

- Town of Lee ($290,000) - The funds will be used to analyze and develop design plans to improve the existing water and sanitary sewer systems serving the CR255 corridor and the developing Madison County Industrial Park.

To learn more about the RIF program and its impact on rural communities, visit their website.

Filed Under: Government, State

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