Gov. DeSantis: $700,000 will pay for upgrades in Green Cove Springs

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the City of Green Cove Springs is receiving $700,000 in state grants to make some much-needed upgrades. The Florida Department of Opportunity will distribute $29 million in grants to 42 small and rural communities across the state under the Florida Small Cities Community Block Grant Program.

DeSantis explained these grants can only be awarded to cities with a population of less than 50,000 people, or to counties with a population of less than 200,000.

The money will fund three neighborhood revitalization improvement projects:

  • Upgrade storm drains by replacing a water pipe that is more than 50 years old.
  • Install sidewalk curb and asphalt and landscape on West Street, and 1.5 miles of sidewalks on Center Street.
  • Install new picnic tables and benches at Vera Frances Hall Park.

Kevin Hall grew up in Green Cove Springs, and he thinks more sidewalks will make it safer for kids walking to and from nearby schools.” It’d be nice to have a sidewalk,” he said. “Sometimes people can drive kinda fast.”

And upgrades to the park will add some comfort. “My kids have lived here their whole lives so it’d be nice to have nicer equipment to play on,” he pointed out.

These are all steps towards progress, says Green Cove Springs Mayor Edward Gaw. ”From a quality of life standpoint, it really doesn’t get any better than that,” Gaw said.

Action News Jax reporter Jessica Barreto also inquired about the projects’ economic impact. ”What are you hoping to see in terms of job growth as result of this grant, here in the city of Green Cove?” she asked DeSantis.

”Well look, I think when you’re talking about doing like infrastructure, obviously somebody is going to be contracted to do this so there is some type of effect on the local economy,” DeSantis responded. “But I think the main thing is, as you understand the needs of different areas, and even this with smaller cities, and I’m telling you - people see this, there’s people that will come. This city will grow,” he added.

”It’s a shame we’re moving,” Hall said. But the father of two believes families will benefit.

”It’s good for the kids,” he said.

To see other grants awarded to Northeast Florida and other entities across the state, click here.

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