Florida Governor announces $150 million dedicated to upgrade state infrastructure targeted by hurricanes

Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Ian Francis

Last Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced financial awards for infrastructure improvements at a news conference in Lakeland.

Joined by Dane Eagle, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, DeSantis announced the state will allocate an additional $150 million for state infrastructure. The main goal of the funding will be to address pre and post-storm/hurricane preparation and recovery efforts.

In the press conference, the governor announced a series of Florida communities that will receive funding to build “more resilient infrastructure,” with South Florida set to receive over $60 million to address flooding and draining issues. Orlando will receive almost $3 million, and Osceola County is set to get an estimated $4.7 million.  

“My administration remains committed to providing the resources necessary for Florida communities to build back stronger and be more resilient to future storms,” said the Florida governor. “This transformational mitigation funding will go a long way in helping Florida’s communities invest in their futures through critical infrastructure improvements.”

The news comes after the Biden administration, and the White House released the “Need for Action in Florida” infrastructure fact sheet plans under the proposed American Jobs Plan project earlier in the week. 

The “Need for Action in Florida” plan highlights a major need in the “Resilient Infrastructure” category for the state, which earned a C- grade for infrastructure on its 2021 Report Card

Storm infrastructure is the main goal of this funding effort. Experts believe this upcoming 2021 Atlantic Storm season will be consistent with last year’s historic numbers; therefore, funding for resilient infrastructure is of the utmost importance.

“This is important to make sure this infrastructure happens. The Office of Longterm Resiliency, which is within DEO, our goal is to not only make sure that you’re rebuilding from past storms but really looking ahead to that next storm,” said Eagle. “We all know as Floridians it’s going to happen again. So, we got to make sure we’re more resilient.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis also said that the state will not stop at the $150 million mark and will continue dedicating more funding for infrastructure in the future.  

The funds are distributed to the state via the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation program.

As of now, it is unclear when projects will begin across the state, but many will likely begin as soon as possible.

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