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State Rural Infrastructure Grants Awarded To Communities Recovering From Hurricane Michael

Florida First Sites - Gulf Power
A aerial view rendering of Marianna Jackson County Distribution Park.

Five counties recovering from Hurricane Michael have been awarded more than $4.6 million for infrastructure-related projects.

Last year, the state set up the Rural Infrastructure Fundto support job growth in less populated areas.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a news release on Friday that communities in Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington Counties have received some of the funding.

Most of the grants will pay for design plans and studies for possible infrastructure projects, including broadband installation, water and sewer system repairs and roadway beautification projects.

Other grants would fund the completion of existing projects, including building a new water main in downtown Marianna.

The largest grant was awarded to Washington County, which will get $1.5 million to pay for broadband installation.

Gadsden County

  • Havana will get $75,000 to identify infrastructure and landscape improvements near local businesses.
  • Midway has been awarded $75,000 to look at beautification projects and infrastructure improvements to attract local businesses.

Holmes County

  • The county will get $297,900 to create a plan for an industrial park that would house manufacturing companies.
  • Bonifay will receive $242,250 to design and plan the construction of a central stormwater facility to reduce flooding downtown.
  • Graceville will get $95,000 to replace sewage infrastructure.

Jackson County

  • The county will receive $300,000 to get certifications for Endeavor Commerce Park and Spanish Trail Commerce Park.
  • Marianna will get $757,460 to build a water main and $177,154 to obtain site-readiness certifications for Airport Commerce Park and Jackson County Distribution Park.
  • Malone will get $256,500 to study stormwater management to reduce flooding downtown.
  • Sneads has been awarded $162,150 to conduct a pedestrian connectivity study.

Liberty County

  • The county has been awarded $275,037 to finalize the site design for Sunshine Cypress, which will become the rural county's first industrial park. It's also getting $165,000 to pay for a broadband feasibility study.

Washington County

  • The county has been awarded a 50% matching grant of $1.5 million to install broadband internet service.
  • Chipley will get $291,785 to develop a comprehensive stormwater management plan downtown that would reduce regular flooding.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.