The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces More Than $4.1 Million to Improve Infrastructure, Community Redevelopment, and Job Creation in Panhandle Communities

Jul 13, 2021

Panama City, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced grant awards totaling more than $4.1 million in the Florida Panhandle. Grant funding will be used to improve infrastructure, community redevelopment, and job creation in small and rural communities. Awards include $3.95 million through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, $211,700 through the Community Planning Technical Assistance (CPTA) program, and $35,000 through the Competitive Florida partnership. The projects awarded can be found below.

“Florida’s rural communities are vital to the wellbeing and prosperity of our state, and my administration is committed to helping them thrive,” said Governor DeSantis. “The more than $4.1 million to these rural areas will help ensure that our small and rural communities have the infrastructure and funding they need to create jobs and strengthen their economic resiliency.”

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, DEO continues to champion opportunities that help communities across the state,” said Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “We will work closely with these communities to meet their infrastructure needs and prepare them for the future in order to ensure strong economic development.”

Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program include:

The Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program, administered by DEO and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides funding for housing and community development activities that primarily benefit persons of low- and moderate-income in small cities and rural communities. More information about the Florida Small Cities CDBG program can be found here.

  • City of Callaway ($750,000) – to assist a minimum of 11 low- and moderate-income residents with necessary housing repairs to bring them into compliance with the adopted housing code. Temporary relocation assistance will be provided to residents as needed.
  • City of Carrabelle ($650,000) – to revitalize Carrabelle’s downtown area to benefit existing merchants and draw new businesses into the area. This project will include repairs of the sidewalks, seawall, the boardwalk and lighting fixtures, as well as replacement of the potable water line to provide an adequate supply of water to the restrooms and fish cleaning station.
  • Town of Ponce De Leon ($600,000) – to make improvements to the Main Street emergency pumping system and the water and wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Town of Alford ($600,000) – to replace the outdated and undersized water main. The project will also replace fire hydrants, rehabilitate two potable water wells, and install an additional fuel tank that is connected to the emergency generator to prevent future outages.
  • Liberty County ($700,000) – to pave several unpaved roads and replace water meters in five low- and moderate-income service areas.
  • City of Vernon ($650,000) – to rehabilitate both city wells, improve the water treatment plant, and repave several streets in two low- and moderate-income service areas.

Community Planning Technical Assistance:

The Community Planning Technical Assistance grant program seeks to build stronger communities through innovative planning and development strategies to promote economic diversity, protect environmentally sensitive areas, and bolster resiliency planning. More information about the CPTA program can be found here.

  • Bay County ($50,000) – to create a county housing study report.
  • City of Panama City ($49,000) – to develop a Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the city's historic Millville community to improve recreational opportunities and create an atmosphere for enhanced economic growth.
  • Jackson County Board of County Commissioners ($47,700) – to develop a plan for flood plain management and mitigation in order to improve the county’s community rating system.
  • Liberty County Board of County Commissioners ($15,000) – to develop a county-wide Communications Infrastructure Master Plan to assist the county with communications during emergencies.
  • City of DeFuniak Springs ($50,000) – to develop a Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Competitive Florida Partnership:

The Competitive Florida Partnership funds the development of an economic strategy through innovative planning, which focuses on economic growth, diversity, community design, and disaster preparedness. More information about the Competitive Florida Partnership can be found here.

  • City of Bristol (Liberty County) - $35,000

Statewide, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that DEO awarded grants totaling more than $30 million in small and rural Florida throughout the state of Florida. Awards included $29 million through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, $1.2 million through the Community Planning Technical Assistance (CPTA) program, $280,000 through the Competitive Florida Partnership program. More information can be found here

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit


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