GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The state announced Tuesday that Green Cove Springs would receive nearly $1.4 million in Community Development Block Grant money, and it’s been earmarked to address a variety …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The state announced Tuesday that Green Cove Springs would receive nearly $1.4 million in Community Development Block Grant money, and it’s been earmarked to address a variety of services for the city.
While the money will be used to refurbish the stage and cafetorium at the Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center. But the benefits will be far-reaching, city manager Steve Kennedy said.
“The idea is it can become a multi-use facility to support not only the low- to the moderate-income community but also an alternate location for a subsequent pandemic and we needed a place to do testing or vaccination or distribution of supplies if we needed to feed people part.
“Part of the restoration includes replacing the stage that was in there. I guess it's like all cafetoriums where they had a stage for performances or band concerts or that sort of thing.”
The state made the block grants available as part of the COVID-19 rescue. In addition to upgrading the facilities, Kennedy said the kitchen will be remodeled so it can be used to provide other services to low-income families or during an emergency.
“At some point in the future we will have it like a community center,” he said. “The people in the neighborhood can rent it and use it for family reunions. Or businesses can use it for a location to have business meetings. The food pantry is right there. So that function would be close by if we need to use them.
“Right now we have Headstart, like the early AMI Kids program is right there. They both get food prepared and brought in from other locations. In some cases, struggling individuals, students and in some cases, kids. That could be a location that we could use a kitchen to prepare meals for not only events but for those folks that need our meals during the day. And is just on and on and on.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded more than $28.4 million in funding for economic growth and community resiliency to 23 Florida communities through the Community Development Block Grant – CV program. Of that, $1,397,600 will be headed to Green Cove Springs.
In all, 23 Florida communities will receive money through block grants or the Rebuild Florida Hazard Mitigation Grant Match Program.
“Supporting the growth and resilience of Florida communities is the best way to ensure Florida’s strong future,” DeSantis said. “Investments made today will provide 23 communities with access to the resources they need to diversify their economies, increase public safety, and mitigate future risks.”
“Governor DeSantis has championed the economic growth of Florida’s communities by making continued investments in their success,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support his efforts by connecting communities to opportunities that suit their unique needs and foster generational growth for their residents.”
The block grant money will allow the city to finish its long, arduous work on renewing the Augusta Savage Center.
“Really, it was the last function that we were looking to complete over the biggest complex,” he said. “Everything else because we've done a lot of work on the gym, we did a man AMI Kids expanded food pantry. It starts there. The mentoring centers right next door and fixing this building up will kind of complete the vision for having that as a support community or a place to get social services support.
The CDBG-CV program, administered by DEO, primarily benefits low- and moderate-income residents. Activities include workforce housing, training and sustainability, as well as broadband infrastructure and planning.
Only Alachua County ($4,000,782) and the City of Coleman ($1,772,500) were awarded larger amounts.
For more information about the CDBG-CV program, please visit FloridaJobs.org/CDBG-CV. For more information about the HMGP Match Program, please visit RebuildFlorida.gov.
The governor’s press office contributed to this report.
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