Green Cove Springs gets $700,000 in grant money for three neighborhood improvement projects

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 7/14/21

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Green Cove Springs last Monday to personally tell the city it will be receiving $700,000 for neighborhood revitalization improvement projects.

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Green Cove Springs gets $700,000 in grant money for three neighborhood improvement projects

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Green Cove Springs last Monday to personally tell the city it will be receiving $700,000 for neighborhood revitalization improvement projects.

The governor made conducted a 20-minute press conference, and in the process, he also told city and county officials his family was eager to return to the Clay County Agricultural Fair next year.

Then he told the city it would receive $700,000 as part of the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program.

“There’s $29 million in grants for 42 small and rural communities throughout the state under the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program and that includes $700,000 right here for the city of Green Cove Springs,” DeSantis said. “This money will allow the city of Green Cove Springs to do three neighborhood revitalization improvement projects.”

The money will be used to replace a stormwater pipe that’s more than 50 years old, as well as install sidewalk, curbs, asphalt and landscaping to West Street. The second project funded by the grant will include the installation of nearly 1.5 miles of sidewalk on Highland Avenue and Center Street. The third and final neighborhood revitalization project funded by the grant is the installation of picnic tables and benches at Vera Francis Hall Park.

“Highland Avenue sidewalk project and Vera Francis Hall Park improvements were identified as a need in community meetings,” Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels said. “With the help of CDBG funding, the city will be able to address those needs.”

Development Services Department applied for the grant program in November 2020 after a two-month process of public hearings and community hearings. The city is eligible to apply for up to $700,000 in the neighborhood revitalization, commercial revitalization and housing rehabilitation grant categories.

All three projects are slated to begin in October 2021. Vera Francis Hall Park improvements and the Highland Avenue sidewalk project are estimated to take three months to complete. West Street stormwater replacement is estimated to take between six to eight months to complete.

“This program and these grants can only be awarded to cities with a population of less than 50,000 or a county with an incorporated population less than 200,000,” DeSantis said. “With today’s announcement, since I became governor, we’ve awarded nearly $60 million in block grants to small cities and the rural communities across the state.”

DeSantis said Florida has awarded Clay County $9 million since he became governor, and he’s happy to see the county’s continued success each year.

“Clay County punches above its weight in many respects,” DeSantis said. “When I became governor, the appropriations chairman in both the house and the senate were from Clay County and I think they did very well for this area and now you’ve got some good folks in the legislature still, so I think it’s a community that’s been able to create a lot of positive impact.

“We’re excited about what’s going on in Clay County and what’s going on in Northeast Florida.”

A total of $29 million was awarded through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program, $1.2 million through the Community Planning Technical Assistance grant program, $280,000 through the Competitive Florida Partnership grant program and $198,500 through the Rural Expansion Toolkit initiative.

DeSantis used the rest of his time to discuss his support of law enforcement, stating that Florida supports its law enforcement better than most states. He cited the state’s first responder bonus awarded to law enforcement as a show of support.

Following his stop in Green Cove Springs, the governor made a breakfast stop at Grumpy’s Restaurant in Middleburg.

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