Governor DeSantis approves military support funding

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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday more than $2.9 million in grants have been distributed by the state Department of Economic Opportunity for infrastructure and community-relations programs tied to military installations.

The grants include $500,000 for Jacksonville to complete the purchase of an over 400-acre parcel to increase the buffer zone for flight operations at NAS Jacksonville, and $100,000 to promote the defense and aviation industry at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport.

Also included in the grants is $367,000 for Clay County Development Authority to resurface roads around Camp Blanding ; nearly $367,000 for the Space Coast Economic Development Commission to build a new Brevard County Emergency Management Operations Center; and $95,000 to attract new businesses and investments throughout the Space Coast.

The grants also include money for a number of projects in the Florida Panhandle, such as nearly $367,000 for Santa Rosa County to buy easements around Whiting Field; $125,000 for post-Hurricane Michael recovery efforts at Naval Support Activity Panama City and Tyndall Air Force Base; $500,000 for Bay County Public Works for a water main under the East Bay to provide treated drinking water to Tyndall Air Force Base and Mexico Beach; $125,000 to develop employment opportunities in the “defense-rich,” tri-county area of Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties; $58,000 for the retention of defense related jobs and the creation of high-skilled, nondefense jobs in Santa Rosa County; and $60,000 for the Walton County Chamber of Commerce to develop an entrepreneurial climate surrounding Eglin Air Force Base.

Other grants include $70,000 for the Miami Dade Beacon Council to create opportunities for defense and private businesses to collaborate; and $75,000 for the Orlando Economic Partnership to grow the defense simulation business industry.