The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces More Than $5.5 Million to Improve Infrastructure, Community Redevelopment, and Job Creation in Northeast Florida Communities

Jul 13, 2021

Jacksonville, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced grant awards totaling more than $5.5 million in Northeast Florida. Grant funding will be used to improve infrastructure, community redevelopment, and job creation in small and rural communities. Awards include $5.4 million through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, $62,500 through the Community Planning Technical Assistance (CPTA) program, and $70,000 through the Competitive Florida partnership. The projects awarded in Northeast Florida 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 $5.5 million to Northeast Florida 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:

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.

  • Town of Glen St. Mary ($600,000) – to provide a new chlorination system and a partition in-ground storage tank and extend the gravity sewer.
  • City of Macclenny ($700,000) – to demolish or rehabilitate and reconstruct two lift stations and gravity sewers within two low- and moderate-income service areas.
  • City of Green Cove Springs ($700,000) to replace 50-year-old stormwater pipe and the sidewalk, curb, asphalt, and landscape on West Street. Additionally, sidewalks will be added to Highland Avenue and Center Street, and Vera Francis Hall Park will receive new picnic tables and benches.
  • Columbia County ($750,000) – to rehabilitate or demolish and replace substandard or deteriorated housing for a minimum of 11 low- and moderate-income households. Temporary relocation assistance will be provided during the rehabilitation.
  • City of Lake City ($700,000) – to revitalize the downtown commercial district by constructing a fountain in Lake Desoto, and to provide new fencing and landscaping with irrigation in Wilson Park.
  • City of Pomona Park ($600,000) – To construct sidewalks along Main Street; replace part of the existing roof at the community center; construct an open picnic shelter and renovate the existing bathroom structure at Beach Park; and create adult exercise stations, an exercise trail, and stripe the parking lot at Mayor’s Park.
  • City of Lake Butler ($700,000) – to replace the sanitary sewer lift stations in two low- and moderate-income service areas to prevent possible failure.
  • Town of Worthington Springs ($700,000) – to make community improvements including paving a vacant lot next to the community center/emergency shelter, making asphalt roadway spot improvements, resurfacing streets, making drainage improvements, and reconstructing streets.

Community Planning Technical Assistance Grant program:

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.

  • Northeast Florida Regional Council ($22,500) – to draft Evaluation and Review amendments to current comprehensive plans for the City of Crescent City, Town of Interlachen, and the Town of Welaka.
  • Northeast Florida Regional Council ($20,000) – to complete a comprehensive update to the council's Affordable Housing Needs Plan to identify regional gaps in affordable housing options that may improve the ability to provide affordable housing for all income, age, and ability groups.
  • Northeast Florida Regional Council ($20,000) – to assist with creating a community vision for the Town of Baldwin to develop a future land use map that will address the increasing need for development.

Competitive Florida Partnership grant program:  

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.

  • Baker County – $35,000
  • City of Palatka (Putnam 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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