Three Alachua County cities will receive nearly $30 million for wastewater projects following Florida’s release of $240 million for 36 projects across the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the funds on Friday. A press release said the projects will reduce nutrients headed into Florida’s waterways and eliminate 20,000 septic tanks.
“By building better infrastructure that protects our waterways, we are ensuring the health of our environment for years to come,” DeSantis said in a press release.
The city of Gainesville will receive the second highest award amount on the list with $22.5 million. Gainesville will use the funds for enhanced biological nutrient removal and expansion at its reclamation facility on Main Street.
The city of Newberry will get $4 million to convert septic systems to central sewer.
High Springs will receive $2.4 million to expand its sewer system closer to I-75.
In neighboring Bradford County, the city of Stark will get $2 million for its wastewater treatment facility, while in Dixie County, Cross City will receive $4 million to convert septic tanks to the sewer system.
The financing comes through the state’s Wastewater Grant Program started in 2021. The program requires at least a 50% match by the government who receives the award, but that match can be waived by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for fiscally-constrained areas.
Last month, DeSantis announced $3.5 billion in funding for Everglades and water resources. His office also recently announced a federally funded $7 billion plan that would expedite 20 interstate projects, including a $479 million expansion of I-75.
Besides converting septic tanks, Newberry is seeking state support for a regional wastewater facility with High Springs and Archer.